WORCESTER Warriors have recruited ever-improving back Melani Nanai at an “exciting time in his career”.

That’s the view of his long-time team-mate Matt Moulds who has witnessed Nanai produce the sort of scintillating form that put him on the brink of selection for New Zealand.

Hooker Moulds, currently out injured after knee surgery, is in his sixth season alongside Nanai, 26, having played together at Blues for five years before both moving across to Worcester this summer.

Nanai, who is set to make his debut in Saturday's Premiership Cup clash at Bath on Saturday (3pm), has signed a three-year contract with Warriors.

Moulds, 28, is confident his good friend will only get better over the course of his long Sixways stint.

“I think Warriors have picked him up at an exciting time in his career,” Moulds said.

“From the start at the Blues he was always a talent. But he just got better and better during the five years I was there.

“I suspect he could be quite a player for Worcester this year.”

Nanai played most of his rugby at full-back in the last Super Rugby campaign where he caused havoc.

No player made more metres and he also had a high count in offloads, carries, defenders beaten and clean breaks.

Nanai is now expected to play on the wing for Warriors in the Gallagher Premiership.

“Anywhere you put Melani his skillset will shine,” Moulds said.

“He is not the biggest, bulkiest guy so he uses the best parts of that to his advantage with his step, speed and skill.

“You will see his offloads and lovely little touches with the ball — that’s something he will bring to the game when he is running lines.

“He has got a neater style of game instead of being a crash, bash winger.”

Samoan-born Nanai has been on All Blacks selectors’ radar and is understood to have been on their standby list for the World Cup before being released by New Zealand Rugby Union.

But his earlier-than-expected release was a boost for Warriors as he was given the green light to move to the UK ahead of the new season.

“Melani has been so close (to being picked to play for New Zealand) for a while now,” Moulds said.

“If he had got the chance to play for the All Blacks he would have shined for them too.”

Asked whether he thought there was still a possibility Nanai could represent the All Blacks while plying his trade in England, Moulds added: “It’s hard to know.

“It depends on how the All Blacks see it. They tend to want to pick players who are playing in New Zealand.

“But if he happens to go back you never know so it’s a hard one to answer.”