London Irish Complete The Signing Of All Blacks Superstar
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Newly-promoted London Irish are not messing around ahead of their return to the Premiership next season. It started with the surprise capture of Leinster and Ireland back-row Sean O’Brien, before it was revealed on Monday that Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu would be joining him.
Then yesterday they announced the signing of former Ulster and Ireland outhalf Paddy Jackson to complete a trio of top class signings. But today they’ve gone a step even further, with the announcement that they’ve secured the services of All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo for next season.
The 28-year-old Rugby World Cup winner, who has 26 caps, has also won a Super Rugby title and was part of the successful Baby Black World Rugby Under-20 Championship team. London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney says he is looking forward to seeing Naholo in action for the Exiles later in the year once his New Zealand contractual commitments have been completed.
“Waisake is a top-class player who will bring great experience with him, which we hope he can pass onto our younger players as they continue their development with us,” he said.
“We are delighted that a player of his ability and age profile has bought into our vision for where we as a club are working hard to get to. We look forward to welcoming him to Hazelwood when he is finished with his commitments with the NZRU.”
Naholo meanwhile says he is excited about the move.
“Following a great career with the All Blacks, Highlanders and Taranaki I am excited by the challenge of joining London Irish” Naholo expressed.
“London Irish is a team on the up and has an exciting future. There is plenty of ambition, a world-class training facility, a good group of coaches and players and some exciting signings coming in. The supporters have a great reputation as well and I’m looking forward to it.”