Big Tongan lock Sione Timani has signed with Celtic League side Scarlets in a deal that will keep the 26-year-old former Carmarthen Quins player at Parc y Scarlets for the next two years.
Timani has been in pre-season training with the Scarlets over the fortnight following on from his eye-catching performances for Tonga in the recent Churchill Cup, including a try over England Saxons.
With three Test caps, Timani, who has played at clubs in New Zealand and Japan in his career, is highly regarded by the current Tongan coaching team. He is expected to further his international experience in the World Cup this summer where Tonga open their campaign against the All Blacks and he will be taking part in the Pacific Cup in coming weeks.
The massive tight forward is the brother of Waratahs lock Sitaleki Timani and Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies is confident that securing the heavyweight forward will bring a physical presence to the current Scarlets pack.
The Scarlets boss commented: "Sione brings physicality and a real presence to our second row options and bulk which you need in the pack to complement what we have in our group already.
"He’s a great acquisition for us in terms of the balance of our pack, he's got a lot to bring, adding a different dimensions to our forwards – with plenty scope to develop more from being within our set-up. We're confident that he will strengthen further as player once within our system," he added.
Another drawcard for Davies was Timani's impressive work ethic.
"He's also shown he's very committed and loyal player and puts in the graft on the pitch and that he's looking to score tries as well. We are delighted he has joined us and look forward to his contribution to the group next season," he said.
Timani said: "This is a great opportunity for me to play for such a respected and well-known club and I hope to fit in well with the group and the players. The Scarlets are a fresh side full of ambition and quite obviously have a philosophy to give the younger developing players a chance, which appeals a lot to me. They play some great rugby and I'm looking forward to being part of the team."
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