EX-WORCESTER Warriors star Bryce Heem believes new signing Melani Nanai will be a “force to be reckoned with” in the Gallagher Premiership.

Nanai has penned a three-year contract with Warriors and began his Sixways career last month after being released by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

His earlier-than-expected arrival is a huge boost for Worcester as it means the 26-year-old speedster will be available for the start of the domestic season.

Like Nanai, Heem also plied his trade in Super Rugby before moving to Warriors.

Heem, a former Waikato Chiefs flyer, did not take long to hit the ground running as he racked up 32 tries in 70 appearances over four stunning seasons.

The 30-year-old’s departure this summer was another big blow to Warriors who also waved goodbye to Wales wing Josh Adams.

But Toulon-bound Heem is confident Nanai, who recently starred for New Zealand side Blues, will make a big impact in the blue and gold.

“I know a couple of guys that are coming in, especially Melani who has been awesome in Super Rugby,” Heem said.

“He is a force to be reckoned with.

“He can play wing or full-back and I think he will be a massive asset for Worcester next season.”

Nanai is likely to operate on the flank for Warriors but played most of his rugby in the number 15 jersey for Blues where he shone.

No player racked up more metres than Nanai (1,240) in the recent Super Rugby season.

He was also second in the league’s top carries charts with 178 and joint third off-loader with 22.

“He has got great footwork,” Heem said.

“He pops up anywhere on the field and can beat any man one-on-one.

“He can also create space for the other firepower in the backline and set them away.

“He is a good guy as well to have around the club and will be good for the environment at Warriors.”

Nanai was expected to play for Auckland in the Mitre10 Cup before being given permission by the New Zealand Rugby Union to join Warriors.

He linked up with fellow new winger Ed Fidow who trained with Worcester during pre-season before being called up by Samoa for the Rugby World Cup.

Fidow, 26, has signed from French second-tier side Provence.

On Fidow, Heem said: “I don’t really know Ed that well but I have seen some of his highlights and I am sure he will be a massive asset for Warriors too.

“The outside backs that Worcester have retained did really well during my time there and are good friends of mine as well.”

Heem is looking forward to the next chapter of his career at Toulon but insists he will keep tabs on what is going on at his former employers.

“Worcester has been my home for four seasons so it’s not something you are going to walk away from and forget about,” Heem added.

“I have got a lot of friends here and will always be watching how they are going.”