London Welsh have pulled off a huge transfer coup with the signing of New Zealand World Cup-winning scrum half Piri Weepu.
The 30-year-old will leave Super 15 side the Blues to link up with the Oxford-based Exiles ahead of their Aviva Premiership campaign.
Weepu has been capped 71 times by the All Blacks, making his debut against Wales in 2004. His final cap came against France last year.
The No 9 is determined to play his part in helping Welsh establish themselves as a top-flight team in England.
“I’m hugely excited by the opportunity of joining London Welsh and at the challenge of playing in the Aviva Premiership – consistently one of the best leagues in world rugby,” he said.
“London Welsh is an iconic and globally recognised brand in the rugby world.
“I’m looking forward to helping the club re-establish itself in the top flight and in Oxford.”
Welsh head coach Justin Burnell was understandably delighted with the capture.
“It’s a massive statement of intent from the club in regard to its drive to be able to compete in the Aviva Premiership next season, and not just survive.”
Weepu will form an exciting half-back partnership with England international fly half Olly Barkley, who joined Welsh last month from Welsh club Scarlets.
Our top stories:
UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak
11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.
9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.
1:56pm Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a stun gun after an incident in Mayfair Road on Tuesday evening.
12:00pm Saturday 25th April 2015
WILD boars have been spotted in parts of Oxfordshire.
8:57am Saturday 25th April 2015
A CONSERVATION group has said historically important sections of The Randolph Hotel were left largely unscathed by last week’s major fire.
8:53am Saturday 25th April 2015
CYBER crime in Oxford is becoming so prevalent it is replacing traditional thefts, a police chief has said.
8:47am Saturday 25th April 2015
HUNDREDS of experienced postmasters will be lost as part of changes to our post offices, a union secretary has warned.
8:41am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAJOR clean-up is under way to smarten up Oxford’s Gloucester Green bus station.
Kidlington man to lay wreath at Cenotaph to recognise Grandfather and Great-Uncle's Gallipoli sacrifice
8:33am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE HUNDRED years ago Robin Atherton’s grandfather went into battle along with his twin brother – but only one of them survived the day.
8:30am Friday 24th April 2015
A BEDBLOCKING crisis in the county has forced health bosses to launch a week-long blitz.
7:07pm Friday 24th April 2015
POLICE officers have tonight returned to a house in Cowley after two arrests were made in the Barton murder investigations.
4:11pm Friday 24th April 2015
A MAN has been arrested after a woman was attacked at a house in Bicester.
3:19pm Friday 24th April 2015
A MISSING parrot has been found in Wallingford following a police appeal.
2:46pm Friday 24th April 2015
TRAINS are delayed between Oxford, London Paddington, Reading and Swindon after a vehicle struck a bridge at Pangbourne.