Quins RL are being linked with the signing of Cronulla Sharks prop Richard Villasanti, who has reportedly granted a release from his current club in order to move to London. The 26 year old forward nicknamed “Villa the Gorilla” has a colourful background, born in Canberra, the adopted son of Spanish and Paraguayan parents, he has Tongan ancestry and therefore probably eligible for either an EU passport or Kolpak status.
Villasanti’s playing record should be acceptable to those looking for a high calibre signing to boost the Quins pack; his pedigree on the pitch suggesting a more than capable addition to the squad. He began his NRL career at Wests Tigers, moving on to a highly successful spell with New Zealand Warriors before joining Cronulla in 2006. To date he has made a total of 115 appearances in the NRL and made the Kangaroo squad in 2003, winning one test cap.
A strong, uncompromising player, Villasanti has been linked to Super League clubs in the past including reigning champions St Helens and would undoubtedly offer strength to a Harlequins pack that has been criticised for a lack of depth and power if able to play to his full capability. In 2006 he struggled to settle at the Sharks, making just 7 appearances in first-grade, making him a slight gamble for the Quins, but if fit and firing on all cylinders he could yet prove a key signing.