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All Blacks wing Naholo joins SOB and Jackson in signing for London Irish

Declan Kidney welcomed the addition of a ‘top-class player.’

ALL BLACKS WING Waisake Naholo is the latest high-profile signing announced by London Irish ahead of their return to the Premiership next season.

Director of rugby Declan Kidney and head coach Les Kiss have already confirmed the signings of Ireland internationals Sean O’Brien and Paddy Jackson.

Waisake Naholo Naholo has 16 tries in 26 Tests. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

London Irish are also bringing in Australia internationals Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona, as well as Scotland prop Allan Dell as they look to make an immediate impact after bouncing back up from the Championship.

28-year-old Naholo should add plenty of scoring power, having dotted down 16 times in his 26 Tests for the All Blacks, as well as scoring 41 tries in 58 games for his current club, the Highlanders.

“Waisake is a top-class player who will bring great experience with him, which we hope he can pass onto our younger players as they continue their development with us,” said Kidney of the new addition.

“We are delighted that a player of his ability and age profile has bought into our vision for where we as a club are working hard to get to. We look forward to welcoming him to Hazelwood when he is finished with his commitments with the NZRU.”

Fiji-born Naholo expressed his excitement about joining the Exiles next season.

“Following a great career with the All Blacks, Highlanders and Taranaki, I am excited by the challenge of joining London Irish,” said Naholo.

“London Irish is a team on the up and has an exciting future. There is plenty of ambition, a world-class training facility, a good group of coaches and players and some exciting signings coming in.

“The supporters have a great reputation as well and I’m looking forward to it.”

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Murray Kinsella

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