Pumas hooker Montoya joins Leicester

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London (AFP)

Argentina hooker Julian Montoya has signed for English Premiership side Leicester Tigers, the club announced on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old has signed a multi-year contract and joins the side immediately after a move to Australia's Western Force fell through.

Montoya -- capped 63 times since making his debut in 2014 -- joins fellow Pumas Tomas Lavanini, Matias Moroni and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla at the Welford Road.

"Julian is a world-class front-rower, with an impressive rugby resume who will bring vital depth to our squad," Tigers' head coach Steve Borthwick said in a club statement.

"He joins us off the back of an impressive showing for Argentina in their recent series against the All Blacks and Wallabies, where he was one of the Los Pumas' best throughout their record-breaking campaign.

"Julian is a tough, hard-working and no-nonsense hooker who we are confident will be a strong inclusion to our front-row ranks at Tigers and the type of character we want at our club in Leicester."

Montoya -- who has nine Test tries to his name -- was part of the Jaguares side that reached the 2019 Super Rugby final and also started in the historic victory over New Zealand in the 2020 Tri Nations tournament.

He had signed a short-term deal with the Force to play in this year's Super Rugby AU and the new trans-Tasman competition, but there was a visa issue with getting his family to Australia.

Montoya said he could not wait to play in the Premiership.

"I am really, really excited about this new adventure," he said.

"I love the Premiership, it's one of the best competitions in the world, and I am really excited to be at a club with the history of Leicester Tigers.

"There is a new staff, new players and a lot of experience across the squad, on a path to be a successful team again."

Montoya's debut could come on Saturday week when ninth-placed Leicester host Sale Sharks, who are fourth.