Wallaby Polota-Nau signs with Leicester

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    Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has snubbed interest from all four Australian Super Rugby sides to sign a deal with English giants Leicester.

    The 32-year-old joined the Western Force last year, ending a 10-year association with the NSW Waratahs.

    But following the Force’s Super Rugby axing was he was forced to look elsewhere to continue his career.

    Polota-Nau will still be eligible for international selection having won nearly 80 caps for Australia and remains Michael Cheika’s first-choice hooker ahead of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

    However, Rugby Australia and the Australian franchises were taken aback by Polota-Nau’s claims last week that he was being forced out to look overseas because a lack of domestic interest.

    It is understood offers were tabled by the Waratahs, Brumbies, Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels who are angered at being accused of passing on him.

    The 78-capped rake played in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups and made his Wallabies debut as a 20-year-old in 2005 before appearing in Super Rugby. He will move to the UK next month.

    Polota-Nau will link up with former Wallabies teammate Matt Toomua at Welford Road where he will be coached by former interim Reds mentor Matt O’Connor.

    “I’m really looking forward to experiencing what northern hemisphere rugby is about,” he said in a statement released by Leicester.

    “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.”

    Polota-Nau will line up in the front row for the Wallabies on Saturday against Wales in Cardiff and O’Connor believes the signing is a huge coup for his club.

    “Taf is a fierce player with a huge amount of experience in Super Rugby and at Test level,” he said.

    “We think he will add a lot to a very competitive group of quality front-rowers here, working with other international players and we look forward to his arrival.”

    Polota-Nau’s former Force teammates Adam Coleman and Ben McCalmon are set to announce where they will be playing next season after the conclusion of the spring tour later this month.

    © AAP 2017
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