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Leicester Tigers sign forward trio

Leicester Tigers sign forward trio

Leicester Tigers have confirmed the signing of three forwards for the 2015/16 season.

The Tigers will welcome Opeti Fonua from London Welsh, Mike Williams from Worcester Warriors and Brendon O'Connor from the Blues in New Zealand as new signings this summer. 

A 28-year-old Tonga international, back-rower Fonua spent almost a decade in France with Auch, Agen and Bayonne before moving into the Aviva Premiership with London Welsh this season. 

Zimbabwe-born but English qualified, 23-year-old Williams has played at both lock and flanker in almost 40 appearances with Worcester Warriors in the last two seasons after playing for the Tuks and the Blue Bulls in South Africa. 

Back-rower O'Connor, 25, is also English-qualified and has played Super 15 rugby with the Crusaders and the Blues in Auckland as well as captaining Hawkes Bay to their Ranfurly Shield victory in 2014. He is a former New Zealand Under-20s cap and World Junior Championship winner. 

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Our priority is to have a strong finish to the current season, but alongside that we are also working hard on recruitment and retention of players in the squad ahead of next season. 

"The back five in the scrum is an area where we have been looking to build strength in depth and I'm delighted that we can confirm three new signings for next season. 

"Opeti Fonua is a powerful ball-carrier with great physicality in his game. He is a big man and a formidable presence in the back row with a lot of experience in European rugby.

"Mike Williams is powerful and abrasive playing at lock or as a blindside flanker, while Brendon O'Connor is a classic Kiwi openside who is very highly regarded within New Zealand. 

"We're sure all three signings will have a big impact in the squad and, as a coaching team, we look forward to working with them and new head coach Aaron Mauger.”

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