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Exiles sign Hala’ufia on permanent basis and bring in Fonua

London Welsh today confirmed the permanent signing of Chris Hala’ufia from the Scarlets.

The No.8 joined the Exiles on a two-week loan basis last month making his debut off the bench against Harlequins in the Premiership and then starting against Newcastle.

Exiles’ head coach Justin Burnell said: “Chris impressed me with his performance against Newcastle, but he also impressed me on and off the training pitch during the two weeks he was with us.

“His attitude was excellent; he was very respectful of the environment at London Welsh and he got his head down and worked hard. His performance against Newcastle was one of the best by one of our back row forwards this season.

“He’s got the experience of a huge number of Aviva Premiership games and he’s also got that physicality we want – he’s able to get over that gain line.”

The Exiles also announced the arrival of Tongan No.8 Opeti Fonua from Top 14 side Bayonne.

Burnell added: “Gain line supremacy is a massive aspect of the game in the Aviva Premiership and when you look at the size and physicality of Fonua it’s phenomenal.

“The arrival of Fonua, together with the signing of Chris Hala’ufia and the addition of Rowland Phillips as defence coach, shows we’re looking to tighten up our defence and we’re looking at our physicality. This is another statement of what we’re trying to do.”

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