Ireland vs Italy

Scarlets sign Tongan powerhouse

Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:44
Large chris hala ufia london iris

The Scarlets received a boost with the signing of destructive Tongan No.8 Chris Hala'ufia.

The Scarlets received a boost with the signing of destructive Tongan No.8 Chris Hala'ufia.

With a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and destructive No.8s in the game the Scarlets signed Hala'ufia to the squad ahead of the 2014-15 season.

Tongan born Hala'ufia joins the West Wales region from London Irish after six seasons with the Premiership club, having made 122 appearances scoring 19 tries.

In his first season for the Exiles Hala'ufia played in all Premiership games and helped take his side to the Premiership Final. In the same season he was named Best Newcomer and was crowned Players Player at the end of 2009-10.

The 35-year-old powerhouse, who also represented Harlequins in the Premiership, has 20 caps and two tries for Tonga and is the second confirmed No.8 signing for Scarlets with Bridgend born Rory Pitman joining from London Wasps.

Scarlets coach Simon Easterby said: "We're delighted to announce the addition of Chris to the squad for the forthcoming season and beyond. We have consistently stated our intentions to add strength in depth to key areas of the squad. We have always been very clear in our messaging that any new player introduced to the squad has to be right for us and be a good match for our ethos here at the Scarlets.

"The pack has shown time and time again this season that they can compete with the best but we're all very clear that we need to ensure consistency in our performances. Bringing in a player of Chris' ability will see us add not only strength in depth but invaluable experience.

"Chris has a reputation as one of the best No.8s in the game and he brings with him a wealth of experience and all the attributes of a ruthless No.8. He's a strong ball carrier and runner but also has the ability to break tackles.

"A player of his experience will help us continue our development as a pack and will be a great support for the younger members of the squad including young No.8 Rory Pitman who joins us from Wasps."

The destructive Tongan said: "This is a great opportunity for myself to stake a claim in the starting line-up at the Scarlets. I've had six great seasons with London Irish but I'm very much looking forward to a new challenge.

"There are some great players at the region and I'm hoping to play a strong part in the side's Pro12 and European campaigns next season."

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