Tonga international Steve Mafi joins London Irish

Steve Mafi has played 29 Tests for Tonga
©Steve Haag

London Irish have announced the signing of Tonga international Steve Mafi ahead of the 2019/20 season of the Gallagher Premiership.

Mafi made his professional rugby debut with Leicester Tigers in 2010 and moved to Greater Sydney Rams in 2014 before joining Western Force in 2015.

The 29-year-old made a return to the Northern Hemisphere after he was signed by Castres in 2016 and has gone on to make over 40 appearances for the French club. He also enjoyed a Top 14 title with Castres when they defeated Montpellier in the final in 2018.

“Steve is another experienced addition to our squad moving forward” said London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney.

“We know how demanding and challenging the Gallagher Premiership is, so it is important that we assemble a squad to meet the demands.

Steve has a wealth of experience and the ability to cover several positions in the second and back row. We look forward to welcoming him to the club.”

Meanwhile, Mafi is excited to return back to the Premiership and is excited to be part of London Irish.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to return to England and test myself in the Premiership. London Irish is entering an exciting period in its history and I am thrilled to have signed.

“Next season will be a great challenge for myself and for the club and I cannot wait to run out and play for my first game in the famous green shirt.”