Akapusi Qera’s return to English rugby has been confirmed after a four-year stint in France.

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Qera has been a free agent since the end of last season when he left French Top14 club, Agen,

The Fijian had a seven-year stint in the Premiership with Gloucester. He moved to France to play for Toulouse, going subsequently to Montpellier and then to Agen.

A statement from his new club Hartpury said: “He has been training with Hartpury for the last few weeks and is close to match fitness. There is one final piece of paperwork required – believed to be a formality that will be completed this week – before he is eligible for selection”.

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Qera was not part of the 29-man Fiji squad named by head coach John McKee for Fiji’s November internationals, during which Fiji registered their historic win over France in Paris. He played at three World Cups – 2007, 2011 and 2015, captaining the side at the tournament in England when they failed to emerge from a tricky pool containing hosts England, Australia, Wales and Uruguay. He has not given up hope of playing at a fourth World Cup and is seeking game-time ahead of the tournament in Japan next year. Fiji are in Pool D, alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and Uruguay.

The club have described Qera’s capture as “the biggest signing in the relatively short history of Hartpury RFC”.

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Hartpury’s Director of Rugby, John Barnes, said, “Q is an experienced signing and a player that (Head Coach) Mark Cornwell knows well, having initially brought him from Birmingham Bees to Gloucester.”

“He will add a huge amount of experience and some much-needed physicality, which we’ve lacked this season so far.”

“He will also help our young players in their development, which is always crucial to signing players of his quality. We are looking for him to add value to our programme, both on the pitch and off.”

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