Edinburgh re-sign Fijian international and 'diligent' prop Lee-Roy Atalifo for 2022/23 season

Edinburgh rugby coach Mike Blar has praised the dilligence, details and attitude of Lee-Roy Atalifo as the 34-year-old penned a new deal with the club.

The 16-time capped Fiji prop has made 20 appearances for the capital club since joining from Jersey Reds in March 2020, and has featured in 10 matches this season.

With a background in his homeland, New Zealand and Italy – plus World Cup appearances in 2015 and 2019 – Atalifo has a strong CV and said he was excited to remain a part of Edinburgh’s ‘brotherhood’.

He said: “I’m very happy here and I’m really excited to be staying. We have a good team culture, a good brotherhood, and great coaches that bring a positive vibe to the team that pushes you to be better every single day.

Edinburgh's Lee-Roy Atalifo is pictured after signing a new deal with the club at the DAM Health Stadium. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

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“I’ve really enjoyed this season because we’ve been doing well. We have our tough days but I think we are in a better position. The great support from our Edinburgh fans in our new stadium makes it even better.”

Atalifo made a try-scoring debut against Cardiff in November 2020, and says he has enjoyed working with coach Mike Blair – and the feeling is mutual as the coach revealed his satisfaction at adding the 34-year-old to next season’s teamsheet, along with recent recruits Angus Williams and Harrison Courtney from Watsonians.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Mike [Blair]. He brings a lot of energy in terms of his coaching style. He helps identify your weaknesses and strengths individually and as a team and he pushes you to get better,” added Ataifo.

“I think that reflects a lot when the boys get out on the field. It builds trust and confidence as a team, and I believe there’s a lot of good things yet to come from this Edinburgh side.”

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Blair said: “I’ve been really impressed with Lee-Roy’s diligence and detail in improving the finer parts of his game, while his attitude in training and preparing for a match is equally consistent. He works hard every day and brings a great energy to our forward pack.

“We’re really happy Lee-Roy is settled and enjoying his rugby in Edinburgh and it’s great that we’ve secured his re-signing for next season.”

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