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Naholo set for Irish debut

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Ex-All Black Naholo wings in for his London Irish debut

London Irish are set to unveil one of their biggest off-season signings this Sunday when they host Leicester in the Gallagher Premiership. 

It was last February, just two weeks after RugbyPass first revealed the spectacular move was on, that former All Black Waisake Naholo was officially confirmed as a new London Irish player.

Coming hot on the heels of securing the signature of former Ireland player Sean O’Brien, it was quite a coup for then Championship outfit. 

Now finding their feet back in the Premiership following their promotion, Irish will hope that Naholo can quickly add a touch of class in their second home match of this new campaign.

Their first Madejski Stadium outing this term was their hammering by Sale, a 41-7 defeat played out in front of a meagre 3,622 attendance. 

(Continue reading below…)

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Naholo is one of two changes from last weekend’s narrow defeat at Saracens, with Terrence Hepetema also included at centre in an XV where Declan Kidney is continuing to experiment with former Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson playing in the full-back berth. 

Another new-season signing, Australia international Nick Phipps, is named among the replacements and is in line to make his debut.

“Leicester Tigers are coming off the back of a good home win against Gloucester last weekend, so we know the challenges that they present to us,” said Kidney. “We are improving as each match comes, so we will be looking to do the same this weekend.”

WATCH: The latest episode of Don’t Mess With Jim, the RugbyPass series hosted by former Scotland international Jim Hamilton

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Ex-All Black Naholo wings in for his London Irish debut