NEW recruit Melani Nanai revealed lock Michael Fatialofa was an influential factor in his decision to join Worcester Warriors.

The former Blues back arrived at Sixways on Monday and was welcomed by three players he knows well from New Zealand.

Hooker Matt Moulds was Nanai’s Blues team-mate for six years and scrum-half Jono Kitto, who also made the move to Warriors, was involved at the Super Rugby club as well.

But it was Fatialofa who played a pivotal role in persuading Nanai to sign for Alan Solomons’ side.

Fatialofa played alongside Nanai in Auckland’s Mitre 10 Cup-winning side last season before arriving at Worcester.

“Michael was a massive part of me coming here,” said Nanai who can play either full-back or on the wing.

“When I was getting married in Canada last Christmas I had a year left at the Blues and Michael messaged me asking if I was looking for a contract.

“We went back and forth, had a talk and now I’m here.

“This will be the sixth season that I’ve played together with Matt and I had a Blues pre-season with Jono so coming in here has been pretty easy knowing quite a few of the boys.

“My wife [Bridie] is also from England so that and having Michael here made it an easy decision for me to come here.

Nanai, 26, was voted Blues’ Players’ Player of the Year after a season of consistent eye-catching performances in the Southern Hemisphere and is looking forward to bringing his skills to the Gallagher Premiership.

“The award is probably one of the biggest I have ever got so I was pretty happy to get it,” he said.

“For me it’s all about having fun and running around with the ball.

“I’m pretty big on defence too.”