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Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 12:33 UK

Sale snap up France-qualified prop Karena Wihongi

Karena Wihongi on the charge
Wihongi will form a formidble front-row alongside Andrew Sheridan

Sale Sharks have signed prop Karena Wihongi on a two-year contract from French club Bourgoin.

The 30-year-old New Zealand-born front-rower has a reputation for powerful scrummaging courtesy of his hefty 19st 9lb, 6ft 1in frame.

The former Oyonnax player is eligible for France on residential grounds.

"He was on my priority list as soon as I was appointed and was delighted when he signed on the dotted line," said Sale head coach Mike Brewer.

"Karena had a number of offers from various clubs and the fact that he has chosen Sale Sharks is significant. He will, I am sure, play a big part in the team next season along with Andrew Sheridan, Eifion Roberts and Jack Forster and our new signing Aston Croall."

And former All Blacks flanker Bewer said he expects further signings before their first Premiership game of the season against Newcastle in September.

"He (Wihongi) is the fourth to last part of the jigsaw I need to fill before we start the season with a squad I know will be vying for the top six in the Guinness Premiership," added Brewer.

Utility back Matty James, prop Croall and lock Wame Lewaravu are among the new faces at Edgeley Park for the new season.

Sale, winners of the Premiership in 2006, just avoided relegation last season when they finished in 11th place.

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see also
Sharks sign versatile Kiwi James
28 Jun 10 |  Sale
Sharks bring in Quins prop Croall
25 Jun 10 |  Sale
Sale sign Tonetti from Leinster
24 Jun 10 |  Sale
Sale snap up Fijian lock Lewaravu
23 Jun 10 |  Sale

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