Fonua joins London Welsh

Date published: November 14 2014

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Tongan number eight Opeti Fonua has joined London Welsh and goes straight into their matchday squad in the Premiership this weekend.

Tongan number eight Opeti Fonua has joined London Welsh and goes straight into their matchday squad in the Premiership this weekend.

The giant back rower spent last season with Bayonne, while he has previously played for Agen in the Top 14 and Pro D2.

Weighing in at 134kg, he will offer the Exiles a real ball-carrying option, as will Chris Hala’ufia who also signed permanently with the club this week.

Head coach Justin Burnell was quick to highlight Fonua’s carrying ability when the signing was announced.

“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,” said Burnell.

“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.”

Fonua, who has five Tonga caps to his name, is arguably best remembered for a huge charge on Jonny Wilkinson during his Agen days where he showed all his power.

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