Leicester Tigers have signed Australia international hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau on a two-and-a-half year deal, beginning in December.
Born in Western Sydney, Polota-Nau played for Greater Western Sydney Rams and Parramatta Two-Blues as well as in Super Rugby with the Waratahs and Western Force.
A former Australia Schools international, Polota-Nau earned the distinction of winning a first cap for Australia as a 20-year-old before he had played at Super Rugby level.
Known as a powerful ball-carrier and fierce tackler, Polota-Nau now has more than 140 appearances in Super Rugby and 78 Test caps, including World Cup campaigns in 2011 and 2015, playing in the Final against New Zealand. He is named in the starting line-up for the Wallabies Test against Wales in Cardiff this Saturday.
Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “Taf is a fierce player with a huge amount of experience in Super Rugby and at Test level. He started Australia’s recent Bledisloe Cup win over the All Blacks and was a key member of the Waratahs team that won Super Rugby in 2014.
“Now he is keen to experience rugby in the northern hemisphere and we’re delighted that he has chosen to come to Tigers.
“We think he will add a lot to a very competitive group of quality front-rowers here, working with other international players including Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Ellis Genge and Logo Mulipola, and we look forward to his arrival next month.”
Polota-Nau, 32, said: “I’m really looking forward to experiencing what northern hemisphere rugby is about. To be privileged to do it with one of the most prestigious clubs of the English Premiership, Leicester Tigers, I believe that not only can I further my game individually, but they have the capacity to add plenty more trophies to their illustrious cabinet and history.
“I do hope that I can contribute to what I think is a very good start to their season and campaign.
“It will be interesting playing against some of the squad players in the November internationals but I’m very keen to switch thinking caps and get a taste of the challenges ahead.”