Three more join London Irish

Date published: June 5 2017

London Irish have taken their new signings total to ten after announcing three more arrivals on Monday ahead of their Premiership return.

Manasa Saulo (Toulon), Filo Paulo (Treviso) and Jake Schatz (Rebels) have all signed with the club ahead of next season.

Fijian international tighthead Saulo has joined London Irish from Toulon. The robust front-row, 28, who has 30 international caps to his name having made his Test debut against England at Twickenham in 2012, will tour with his country this June.

“I know Tiks [Aseli Tikoirotuma] from playing with him in the Fiji squad and he has told me how great a club London Irish is,” said Saulo.

“I’m really looking forward to teaming up with the guys in the summer and hopefully I can take my game to the next level under Nick Kennedy.”

London Irish Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said: “Manasa is a very good signing for us and he’s got quality in the front row.

“He’s a dynamic ball carrier with a hard edge in defence, who will no doubt improve our pack considerably.”

Samoan international lock Paulo joins a talented roster of locks at the club. Plying his trade for Ulster and Super Rugby side the Blues early in his career, the 29-year-old joined Cardiff Blues in 2013 where he made more than 50 appearances.

A move to Benetton Treviso came to fruition in 2015, the Pacific Islander making 33 appearances for the Italian club.

“London Irish have a strong pack with a lot of quality in their ranks and I’m looking forward to competing for a place in the team,” said Paulo.

“There is a fantastic set-up at Irish and their promotion back to the Premiership has increased the excitement ahead of the new season.”

Nick Kennedy, London Irish Director of Rugby said: “With his international experience, Teofilo is a very good addition who will further enhance the competition for places in the squad.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team.”

Schatz, the two-times capped Wallaby, was a Super Rugby winner in 2011 with the Queensland Reds.  

Success with the Reds came a year after skippering Australia U20s to the IRB Junior World Cup Final where they were eventually beaten by New Zealand.

Making just under 100 appearances during seven seasons with the Reds, Schatz made the move to Melbourne Rebels as injury cover in January of this year. A natural at either flanker or number eight, Schatz, 26, is keen to hit the ground running with the Exiles.

“I can’t wait to meet my new teammates at Hazelwood in July and to start preparing for the new campaign in the Premiership,” said Schatz, who made his Test debut against Argentina in The Rugby Championship in 2014.

“I’m really grateful to London Irish for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premiership, a competition that I have always wanted to test myself in.

“I’m really impressed with what the club is currently building with regards to the culture and ethos and where it wants to be long-term.”

London Irish Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said: “Jake has played at the very highest level both domestically and internationally and he is a fantastic signing for us.

“He’s an abrasive ball carrier, who is aggressive over the ruck and will add dynamism to the back row.”