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Tigers swoop for Eagles frontrower Taufete'e

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers have signed US Eagles hooker Joe Taufete’e from the LA Giltinis.

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The 125kg No.2 returns to Gallagher Premiership Rugby having previously enjoyed a stint at Worcester Warriors. He has since featured for French club Lyon in the Top 14 before featuring for American MLR side, the LA Giltinis.

The former American football defensive tackle made the move to rugby union in 2011 and represented American clubs Belmont Shore and Scioto Valley as well as a short-stint with New Zealand club Otorohanga in Waikato.

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Born in Nu’uuli, American Samoa, Taufete’e joined the San Diego Breakers in 2016 before moving to England to join the Worcester Warriors, where he went on to earn 50 caps. He then joined Lyon in 2020, who he spent two seasons with before agreeing a short-term deal with LA Giltinis in the MLR.

“To join a historical club like Leicester Tigers and add my name to into the history of a club like this means to me a great deal,” said Taufete’e. “I know how it is and what it means to be a Tiger, to push yourself to extremes.

“I have seen how the program has grown since Steve Borthwick took over and I am excited to be playing under his guidance.”

Head coach Steve Borthwick said: “We are really pleased to be able to add a player of Joe’s experience, in not only the Premiership but also international rugby, to Leicester Tigers.”

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“He is a powerful player, in attack and defence, and adds competition to our hooking ranks at the club ahead of the new season.

“Joe is an impressive young man who has shown a hunger to want to be a part of our club and contribute to Leicester Tigers, on and off the field, as well as competing at the highest level of Premiership and European rugby.”

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