Scarlets recruit Tongan number eight Chris Hala'ufia

Scarlets new recruit Tongan Hala'ufia
New Scarlets signing Chris Hala'ufia 'has all the attributes of a ruthless eight'

Scarlets have completed the signing of Tongan number eight Chris Hala'ufia after six years with London Irish.

Hala'ufia, 35, joins the West Wales region with a reputation for being one of the most destructive back-row players in the game.

With 20 caps for Tonga he is the second number eight recruit at Scarlets after London Wasps' Rory Pitman.

"I've had six great seasons with London Irish but I'm very much looking forward to a new challenge," said Hala'ufia.

"There are some great players at the region and I'm hoping to play a strong part in the side's Pro12 and European campaigns next season."

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said the recruitment of the Tongan was part of the region's plan to increase its strength in depth.

"The pack has shown time and time again this season that they can compete with the best but we're all very clear that we need to ensure consistency in our performances," said Easterby.

"Bringing in a player of Chris' ability will see us add not only strength in depth but invaluable experience.

"Chris has a reputation as one of the best number eights in the game and he brings with him a wealth of experience and all the attributes of a ruthless eight. He's a strong ball carrier and runner but also has the ability to break tackles.

"A player of his experience will help us continue our development as a pack and will be a great support for the younger members of the squad including young number eight Rory Pitman who joins us from Wasps."