Hardened props sign for Leicester Tigers

London (AFP) –


Leicester Tigers strengthened their front row considerably on Tuesday signing two experienced international props in Fiji's Campese Ma'afu and Tongan David Feao.

The Australia-born Ma'afu joins as replacement for Ellis Genge, who is expected to be out until early next year with a knee injury he suffered in training during England's three-Test series against South Africa in June.

Ma'afu, 33 a veteran of two World Cups and capped 52 times, has previous experience of English club rugby having played for Nottingham and Northampton Saints.

"We're obviously disappointed to have Ellis sidelined for the start of the new season and we look forward to seeing him back to full fitness in due course, but Campese is a very experienced prop with good knowledge of Premiership and European rugby," head coach Matt O'Connor told the club website.

Feao, who is coming off a busy summer having played three Tests against Georgia, Fiji and Samoa, is also Australia-born and the 27-year-old 20-stone (127kilos) forward has gained experience in Europe with French sides La Rochelle and from January this year with Narbonne.

"David comes in with some good experience in Europe and we think he can continue to make good progress here," said O'Connor.

"He is a big, powerful man and we look forward to getting him to work in the build-up to the new season."