PROMOTED London Irish have bolstered their squad with the signing of former Leicester Tigers forward Steve Mafi who is due to arrive in the early part of next season.

The experienced Samoa lock is the latest of a string internationals that have agreed to join Worcester Warriors’ Gallagher Premiership rivals.

New Zealand wing Waisake Naholo, Ireland fly-half Paddy Jackson, British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O’Brien, Scotland prop Allan Dell and Australia aces Curtis Rona, Nick Phipps and Sekope Kepu have all signed for The Exiles.

Mafi, who can also operate in the back row, made 80 appearances for Leicester during a four-year spell in the Premiership before going on to play for Super Rugby club Western Force.

The 29-year-old then moved to French outfit Castres in 2016 and was part of the side that defeated Montpellier in the Top 14 final in 2018.

He has also won 29 caps for Samoa including three appearances in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney said: “Steve is another experienced addition to our squad moving forward.

“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.”

Mafi added: “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.”