BACK rower Marco Mama is convinced rangy runner Melani Nanai will be a “real threat” in the Gallagher Premiership despite his “slighter” frame.

Nanai arrived at Worcester Warriors on Monday for his first day of pre-season training after making his much-anticipated move from New Zealand.

The 6ft 4in summer signing joins Warriors on the back of an impressive Super Rugby campaign with the Blues.

His elusive running style saw him cut through defences as he racked up 1,240 metres – more than any other player in the league.

Nanai weighs 14 stone – 2st lighter than destructive wing Bryce Heem who left Warriors to sign for Toulon this summer.

But Mama believes Nanai, who is expected to fill Heem’s shoes, is the “right style of player” for England’s top-flight.

“I follow Super Rugby and Melani looks like a very exciting player,” Mama said.

“He played for the Barbarians as well and they don’t usually pick players off the side of the street.

“He is exciting and looks like a really good broken-field runner.

“He is quite tall so he has got an imposing physical frame and I think he will fit into the game plan and the way we want to play over here.

“There can be questions over slighter outside backs that come into the Premiership because it is such a physical league.

“But he has got the size and frame to compete for the ball in the air.

“I think he is the right style of player for the Premiership which is important.

“When you think of him getting the ball in space with some of our outside backs he is going to be a real threat next season, that’s for sure.”

Nanai was born and raised in Samoa but was educated in New Zealand and was understood to be in the running for the All Blacks squad.

The 26-year-old flier now links up with ex-Blues team-mate Matt Moulds and former Auckland colleague Michael Fatialofa at Warriors.

Kiwi scrum-half Jono Kitto has also made the move from New Zealand to Worcester this summer.

“Maybe Alan (Solomons, director of rugby) has been spending a bit of time in New Zealand instead of South Africa these days,” said Mama on Solomons’ recruitment.

“The Kiwis have produced exceptional players. Rugby is in their blood.

“I guess clubs might go through phases where they explore different markets in certain countries.

“Worcester probably went through a time when it looked like they were signing half of the Blue Bulls squad.

“But it seems that it just so happens that the right players that fit the squad are Kiwis at the moment.

“They are generally pretty good guys and fit into an England environment so I am sure the signings we have made will fit right in.”