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Cardiff swoop for Ma'afu after release from Toulon due to assault conviction

The former Australia prop didn’t have to wait long to find a new club.

CARDIFF BLUES HAVE announced the signing of Australia-capped tighthead prop Salesi Ma’afu after he was released from his contract with Toulon.

Salesi Ma'afu celebrates Ma'afu spent two seasons with Northampton before moving to Toulon. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The 32-year-old only joined the French club during the summer but a conviction for assault meant Toulon cut their ties with immediate effect.

It had been expected that Ma’afu would replace the retired former captain Carl Hayman at Toulon, but an incident in August cast a shadow over his short time with the club and he appeared off the bench just thrice in the Top 14.

Earlier this month, Ma’afu was found guilty of assault after an altercation with a woman over a parking space at Mourillon beach in August. The former Brumbies and Northampton prop was handed a four-month suspended sentence and fined €1,500.

Toulon’s response was to cut ties with Ma’afu this week, but it hasn’t taken the 14-times capped Australian long to find a new club.

Cardiff this morning expressed their delight “to announce the major signing” of Ma’afu.

Munster players celebrate at the final whistle Ma'afui was part of the Australia team beaten by Munster in 2010. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“We are thrilled to sign Salesi and welcome him to Cardiff Blues,” said head coach Danny Wilson. ”Salesi is a powerful prop forward who will add to our set piece and enhance the front row options within the squad.

“He has a fantastic pedigree in the game, having won the English title and European honours during his successful time with Northampton Saints, and he is very keen to join Cardiff Blues and make a big impression at the region.”

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Murray Kinsella

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