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RUGBY UNION: Welsh spirit is tonic for Tiesi
GONZALO Tiesi was immediately struck by London Welsh’s team spirit after joining the Aviva Premiership club this week.
The 27-year-old Argentine international centre will introduce himself to Welsh fans tomorrow when he makes his debut in the LV= Cup clash with Newport Gwent Dragons at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.
But after just one training session with his new teammates, former Harlequins and London Irish man Tiesi was already feeling at home.
“There is a very good team spirit here,” he said. “When I went there for the first time, I could see it straight away.
“You always earn the respect of your peers once you start playing. “Hopefully, I can do that soon and get to know all the people.”
Welsh approached Tiesi after he played for Argentina in the autumn internationals.
“I received an email from my agent saying that they were looking for a centre and asking if I would be interested,” said Tiesi.
“I found out about the club and its history.
“These are very exciting times to be involved.
“I was following the story of their promotion last summer.
“I love rugby a lot, so I knew all that happened with them before the season.
“I think all that helped the togtherness of the team.
“They have surprised more than a few people around the Premiership. Hopefully, we can keep that going.”
Tiesi has more Premiership experience than a lot of the Exiles’ squad and hopes to make that count.
“I know the level of the competition, which helps,” he said.
“I have not played any rugby since the November tour, but I had to make sure I kept myself fit. ”
Tiesi returned to the international fold in November and hopes to keep his form going now he has another opportunity in England.
He said: “I was waiting for a chance like this one and thank London Welsh for giving it to me.
“The Premiership is the best league in Europe in my opinion.”