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Southern Hemisphere Pair For London Irish

Southern Hemisphere Pair For London Irish

English Premiership side London Irish
have announced that Samoa’s Peter Poulos and Australia’s Scott Staniforth will be joining the club next season.

English Premiership side London Irish
have announced that Samoa’s Peter Poulos and Australia’s Scott Staniforth will be joining the club next season.

Poulos, (26) a back-row forward, joins after a season in Japan.
His four
caps include an appearance against eventual champions England during
World Cup where the Pacific Islanders were on the brink of an upset
win before
losing 35-22.

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Staniforth, 26, who can play at either wing or centre, arrives
from Super
12 outfit the New South Wales Waratahs, for whom he played 71 times
and with
three Australia caps to his name.

Commenting on his move to the Exiles, Staniforth said: “I am
excited about
playing in England with London Irish. The club has some outstanding individual players that I am
looking forward
to working with and helping it compete for a top three place in next
Zurich (English) Premiership.”

London Irish managing director Conor O’Shea said: “We are
delighted to have
signed another two international players of the calibre of Peter and

“Over the past fortnight we have announced the signing of seven
players, all of
whom have won representative honours.

“They represent a serious and necessary improvement in the
quality of our
squad for next season,” the former Ireland full-back added.

“The signings of Peter and Scott are not short term signings.
Both players
are young enough to integrate into our current squad and as they
become a formidable force.
The new players will also benefit the young Academy players
coming through
our system by exposing them to different rugby backgrounds, ideals

London Irish finished the regular season last weekend eighth in
the 12-team

Meanwhile Wales centre Iestyn Harris has ruled himself
out of the June tour of Argentina and South Africa.

The former Great Britain rugby league international has a knee
injury and
needs at least six weeks to get over it.

That means he won’t be ready in time for the two Test series in
on June 12th and 19th and the one-off match against the Springboks in
Pretoria on
June 26th.

“I am pretty devastated to be ruled out. I had earmarked the
tour to really
make a claim,” Harris told BBC Wales yesterday (Tuesday).

“I’ve got severe bruising in the shin and quad bones, and
I’ve also got a
tear in the posterior cruciate ligament.

“It has been an extremely long year, with the World Cup.
We’ve been playing
international rugby since July last year.

“There is only so much a body can take at that level, and
over the next two
or three weeks, you will see plenty of players dropping out of tours
– not
just for Wales, but for every country that’s going on a tour,”
Harris added.

Harris’s absence adds to the list of problems facing new Wales
coach Mike
with shoulder injuries set to sideline Llanelli forwards
Dafydd Jones
and Robin McBryde while half-backs Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper and
Powell have all to prove their fitness.

Ruddock has been due to reveal his tour squad on Thursday but the
announcement has now been delayed until early next week following the
round of Celtic League matches.

England World Cup-winning prop Trevor
has joined
Sale from Premiership rivals Gloucester on a three-year deal.

The move sees Woodman, 27, capped 20 times by England, liking up
former Gloucester turned Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre.

Saint Andre, a former France wing, said: “Trevor is a class
player who will
fit in perfectly with my plans at Sale Sharks.

“With Andrew Sheridan who is on the fringe of the England
team we will have
two great open side prop forwards to work with. Trevor’s signing also
gives us
extra strength in depth in the front five.”

Sale chief executive Niels de Vos added: “When we were first
alerted to
Trevor’s possible availability we resolved to do everything we could
to secure
his services. World Class Prop Forwards of his ability and age come
up all to

“Fortunately for us when Kevin Yates decided to leave us for
Saracens, the
wage budget became available to agree a deal with Trevor, helped by
his desire
to link up again with former coach Philippe Saint-Andre.”

Also joining Sale is John Payne, a 24-year-old Tonga international
who arrives on a one-year deal with an option of an extension.

Saint-Andre said of Payne, capped 10 times by Tonga: “John is
a highly
competitive centre who was vice-captain of his country in last
autumn’s Rugby
World Cup. He is young and was very keen to join Sale Sharks.”

Sale, beaten finalists against Newcastle in this season’s English
final, finished seventh in the 12-strong Premiership.

AFP -2004.