- DOB21 Jan 1989
Tongan centre Nafi Tuitavake joined Saints just after the start of the 2016/17 season from Narbonne.
A graduate of the same 2009 IRB Junior World Championships-winning All Blacks team as Ken Pisi and Aaron Cruden, Tuitavake played at North Harbour in the ITM Cup for close to a decade.
He played for North Harbour’s Under-16s, Under-19s and Under-21s sides between 2005 and 2007 and was a regular for Super Rugby side Crusaders – playing in the game against England that featured future teammates Stephen Myler, Ben Foden, and Lee Dickson.
His pace and skill earned him a place in the New Zealand Sevens side, with whom he featured in the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2008.
His first of eight appearances for Tonga came against Fiji in the summer of 2016, and he went on to participate in the 2017 Pacific Nations Cup in a bid to earn Tonga a place at the 2019 World Cup. They successfully achieved this feat, landing a place in Pool C alongside England.
Tuitavake quickly became a versatile member the Saints backline, showing his capabilities at outside-centre and on the wing during in his first two seasons.
He made his Saints debut in the opening round of the European Champions Cup in 2016 as Saints travelled to Castres Olympique, and would help Northampton beat Leicester Tigers twice in his first full season at Franklin’s Gardens.