Glasgow Warriors have boosted their forward pack for next season by signing powerful 29-year-old Tongan No.8 Viliami Ma'afu who will join the Scotstoun club from Japanese outfit Mitsubishi.
The Tongan loose forward starred for his country at the recent World Cup, earning widespread praise for his displays in the tournament opener against hosts New Zealand and in the historic win over finalists France. He also scored a crucial try in the victory against Japan.
In addition to his international experience, Ma'afu will bring to bear the benefit of his time in Super Rugby, where he shone for the Blues in the 2010 competition after proving his class with North Harbour at provincial level.
A powerful, combative performer and confident ball carrier, Ma'afu is a talented all-round sportsman, having also represented Tonga at tennis and golf.
Ma'afu commented: "I'm delighted to have signed for a major club like Glasgow Warriors, and can't wait to become part of the team in the summer.
"I know they've been doing well in the Pro12 this season, and it's exciting to know I'll be able to play a part in big games in that competition and the Heineken Cup.
"I've been very impressed by what everyone at the Warriors has told me about where they want to take the club – it's clear that there is a lot of ambition, and a talented squad in place. It's going to be a fantastic place to play my rugby," he enthused.
Head coach Sean Lineen hailed the signing as a 'real coup', saying: "We're all really excited about what Viliami will offer us from next season. He's proved his ability on some of the biggest stages in world rugby, he's got real presence and leadership potential, he's at a great age for a loose forward and he's hungry for success.
"It's a great all-round package to have in a signing, and I'm convinced he'll make a really positive impact. We've got good strength in depth in the back row, and Viliami will bring his own flavour and ability to that. He offers another angle of attack, as well as excellent defensive qualities," he added.
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