Tonga international prop forward Eddie Aholelei has become London Welsh’s latest signing, joining the Exiles from Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels.
Aholelei, 32, scored a try on his international debut against Japan in 2013 and has gone on to win six caps for Tonga, including two appearances in last month’s Pacific Nations Cup and starting against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in November.
The physical and tenacious prop, who can play loosehead or tighthead, will link up at London Welsh with Tonga team-mate and fellow prop Taione Vea.
“Firstly I would like to thank London Welsh for giving me this opportunity. I am honoured and humbled to be heading to England to represent the Club in what is undoubtedly one of the toughest domestic competitions in world rugby, the Aviva Premiership,” Aholelei said.
“I know London Welsh has a very proud history and I’m looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead, both on and off the field. The move represents a fantastic chance for me to enjoy a fresh start and for my family to experience a different country and culture.
“I am looking forward to meeting the boys, the Club staff and, of course, London Welsh’s faithful supporters.”
London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell said: “Eddie is a Tongan international and I watched him first hand against Wales in the autumn at the Millennium Stadium. He’s got Super 15 experience, is a very big powerful man and is another excellent addition to our squad for next season.”
- Planet Rugby