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Piri Weepu signs for 'iconic and globally recognised' London Welsh

The scrum-half has won 71 caps for New Zealand and won the World Cup in 2011.

Piri Weepu often led the Haka while on All Blacks duty.
Piri Weepu often led the Haka while on All Blacks duty.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

FRESH FROM SIGNING Argentina prop Pablo Henn and Brumbies flanker Lachlan McCaffrey, London Welsh have secured the services of All Blacks star Piri Weepu.

The newly-promoted Aviva Premiership club have confirmed a move that was mooted earlier this week. The 30-year-old scrum-half has signed from Auckland Blues and is expected to form a 9/10 pairing with Olly Barkley.

Weepu has 71 New Zealand Test caps and came to the fore in his country’s World Cup triumph of 2011. Following injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade, Weepu took over the goal-kicking duties in victories over Argentina, Australia and France. His move from Hurricanes to Blues was not as successful and he has fallen down the international pecking order.

Speaking about his move, Weepu declared, “I’m hugely excited by the opportunity of joining London Welsh and at the challenge of playing in the Premiership — consistently one of the best leagues in world rugby.

London Welsh is an iconic and globally recognised brand in the rugby world and I’m looking forward to linking up with head coach Justin Burnell and my new London Welsh teammates, and helping the Club re-establish itself in the top flight and in Oxford.”

London Welsh pipped Bristol 48-28 on aggregate to win promotion from the Championship. The club has two Irishmen — lock James Sandford and prop Shane Cahill — on their books for next season.

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Patrick McCarry

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