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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Mapusua agrees London Irish move
Seilala Mapusua
Mapusua has scored 25 points in 37 Highlanders appearances
London Irish have completed the signing of Highlanders centre Seilala Mapusua.

The 25-year-old Samoan, who has also played for the Pacific Islanders, will arrive at the club in October after signing a three-year deal.

"Seilala is an impact centre that will add another dimension to our midfield," said Exiles rugby director Brian Smith.

"He is a skilful player with an ability to offload as well as being an effective ball carrier which will be important in the season to come."

Although born in Samoa, Mapusua grew up in New Zealand and attended Auckland's Wesley College - the same school as Jonah Lomu.

Mapusua, who has also played for the New Zealand under-21 side, has been with National Provincial Championship outfit Otago since 2000 and has made 37 appearances for the Highlanders in four Super 12/14 seasons.

He also played for Otago against the British and Irish Lions last summer.

"I wanted a fresh challenge and playing at the top level in Europe provides that," he said.

"The management and coaches at the Highlanders have supported my decision to move to England and I am grateful to them for that."

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