Sale Sharks have revealed that they have signed 27-year-old Samoan International centre Johnny Leota.
Leota recently made his debut for Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup game against Fiji and subsequently played against Tonga.
He has represented the Dunedin-based Highlanders 24 times in Super Rugby and has been a member of the Manawatu side in the New Zealand Provincial Championship since 2004.
Leota missed part of the 2010 season through injury, but has fought his way back to full fitness and has been part of the 25-man squad preparing for the World Cup.
Should he be named in the Samoan squad Leota will join up with the Sharks once the World Cup is finished.
Executive Director of Sport Steve Diamond said: "Leota is a great signing for us and I am sure he will fit in well at the club.
"He is playing well and I have had my eye on him for some time. He is a great defender and a great line breaker with ball in hand.
"Fans will remember when we signed Graham Bond nine years ago and what an impact he had. Johnny is a very similar player and we have high hopes for him."
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