Oxford MailRUGBY UNION: Welsh sign up All Blacks ace Piri Weepu (From Oxford Mail)

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RUGBY UNION: Welsh sign up All Blacks ace Piri Weepu

Oxford Mail: RUGBY UNION: Welsh sign up All Blacks ace Piri Weepu RUGBY UNION: Welsh sign up All Blacks ace Piri Weepu

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.

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