Tigers beef up pack
TRANSFER NEWS: Fiji prop Campese Ma’afu and Tonga prop David Feao have joined Leicester Tigers ahead of the 2018/19 season.
The experienced Ma’afu arrives as an injury dispensation signing with England international Ellis Genge sidelined by a knee injury.
The 33-year-old Ma’afu includes Cardiff Blues, Nottingham and Northampton Saints among his former clubs.
Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We’re obviously disappointed to have Ellis sidelined for the start of the new season after suffering a knee injury on the England tour in the summer and we look forward to seeing him back to full fitness in due course, but Campese is a very experienced prop with good knowledge of Premiership and European rugby.
“He comes into a competitive group of front-rowers at the club and we look forward to seeing him work with coaches Mark Bakewell and Boris Stankovich as we build up to the new campaign.”
While, the 27-year-old Feao played for Tonga in their June Tests against Georgia, Fiji and Samoa, and has previous experience in European rugby after spells with French clubs La Rochelle and Narbonne.
Feao, who was born in Brisbane and played his club rugby with Souths, Brisbane City and NSW Country Eagles in Australia before moving to France, weighs in at around 20 stones and joins his new club colleagues in the build-up to the new season now that the paperwork on his move has been completed.
The former Australia Schoolboys cap went to the Junior World Championships with Tonga Under-20s in 2010 and played for Tonga ‘A’ in the Pacific Nations Cup before stepping up to Test status.
He initially joined La Rochelle on a short-term contract at the end of the 2015/16 season but then stayed for an extra season before moving to Narbonne.
Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “David comes in with some good experience in Europe and we think he can continue to make good progress here. he is a big, powerful man and we look forward to getting him to work in the build-up to the new season,”
Former Tigers props Logovi’i Mulipola (Newcastle Falcons), Michele Rizzo (Petrarca) and Ben Betts (Ealing Trailfinders) have joined new clubs since the end of last season, while Kyle Traynor and Chris Baumann have also left Welford Road at the end of their contracts.