London Welsh have bolstered their squad once more with the lucrative capture of New Zealand World Cup winner Piri Weepu.
The scrum-half – who joins from Super 15 side the Blues – was part of the All-Blacks side that became world champions in 2011 and he represents a huge coup for the club.
The 30-year old earned 71 caps for his country and will bring a wealth of experience to the newly promoted side.
He has played for the Hurricanes as well as Auckland and Wellington back home in his native New Zealand and he will now grace the Aviva Premiership stage for the first time.
Weepu told reporters: “'I'm hugely excited by the opportunity of joining London Welsh and at the challenge of playing in the Aviva Premiership - consistently one of the best leagues in world rugby.
“London Welsh is an iconic and globally recognised brand in the rugby world and I'm looking forward to linking up with head coach Justin Burnell and my new London Welsh team-mates - and helping the club re-establish itself in the top flight and in Oxford.”
Other new recruits
Weepu joins two other new signings through the door at London Welsh after they secured deals for Lachlan McAffrey and Argentinian Pablo Henn.
Head coach Jason Burnell said: “It doesn't get much better than being a World Cup winner with 71 caps for the All Blacks - it's a signing that speaks for itself.
“It's massive statement of intent from the club in regard to its drive to be able to compete in the Aviva Premiership next season - and not just survive.”
The ambitious outfit may surprise a few next season despite being promoted from the Championship and Burnell feels that Weepu will fit right in to the club.
He said: “It's also going to be a fantastic opportunity for the younger players within our squad to mix and learn from a player of Piri's experience and ability. As a player, his skill set is unbelievable; his kicking game and tactical appreciation are tremendous.
“After meeting with him in Singapore at the club 10s, his personality and aura is such that it will be second nature for him to fit in to the environment we've created at London Welsh."
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