'French conditioning is very behind'

Date published: September 18 2014

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Samoa lock Daniel Leo has revealed he joined London Irish to get in better shape for the Rugby World Cup than if he'd stayed in France.

Samoa lock Daniel Leo has revealed he joined London Irish to get in better shape for the Rugby World Cup than if he'd stayed in France.

Leo spent four years in the Top 14 after leaving Wasps in 2010, playing for Bordeaux Bègles and Perpignan.

The 31-year-old though had his eye on next year's RWC with Samoa. In order to reach peak fitness ahead of the tournament, a return to the UK was a must for Leo.

“France is very behind in strength and conditioning and I knew I was not in top condition,” Leo told getReading.

“Looking ahead to next year's World Cup I wanted to come back to the UK because I knew that would be beneficial for my career.

“When I heard that Steve Walsh and Brian O'Leary were coming to London Irish it was a big factor.

“A lot of money has been spent on the facilities to get players in the best possible shape.

“When you are 31 years old that is what you like to hear. My decision was based on prolonging my career.

“The World Cup is the carrot and the Samoa coaches are coming over next week to check on me and (flanker) Ofisa Treviranus.

“They will want to know that we are fit and consistent because if we are not putting in the performances for London Irish there is a lot of competition from others for places in the squad.”

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