RUGBY UNION: Tongan ace Aholelei is humbled to join Welsh

RUGBY UNION: Tongan ace Aholelei is humbled to join Welsh

RUGBY UNION: Tongan ace Aholelei is humbled to join Welsh

First published in Rugby Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

Tongan international prop Eddie Aholelei said he was honoured and humbled to have signed for London Welsh.

Aholelei, who joins from Super 15 side Melbourne Rebels, was yesterday announced as Oxford-based Welsh’s 22nd signing ahead of their return to the Aviva Premiership.

The 32-year-old, who has six caps, will join up with Tongan international teammate Taione Vea, Welsh’s recent signing from Wasps.

Aholelei said: “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.

“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.”

Exiles 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.”

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