Nick Kennedy: Harlequins sign forward from Toulon

Nick Kennedy

Harlequins have completed the signing of forward Nick Kennedy from Toulon.

The 31-year-old second row, who has been capped seven times by England, moved to France last summer and won the Heineken Cup last season.

"Winning the Heineken Cup will rank among the highlights of my career [but] the opportunity to return to England has come at the right time," he said.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and to being part of an exciting squad of talented players."

He added: "I would like to thank Toulon for releasing me and for their support during my time in France."

Kennedy moved to Toulon following a decade at London Irish, where he made 219 appearances for the Exiles.

Quins director of rugby Conor O'Shea has previously worked with Kennedy during his time at London Irish.

"I've known him since he came to professional rugby and in Nick we have a player and a person who will fit into what this club is all about," O'Shea said.

"Not only is he one of the leading line-out specialists in the country; he is physically strong, mobile and skilful and his game has benefitted greatly from his stint in Toulon.

"His ambition is pretty clear in that he wants to win the Aviva Premiership and force his way back into the England squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015."

O'Shea says the unexpected retirement of Olly Kohn had forced him to bolster his pack.

"We felt, despite the young talent we have in Charlie Matthews, George Merrick and Sam Twomey, we needed to replace Olly's experience within the squad," he continued.

"There will be real competition now among our second rows with Nick's signing and the young guys really pushing for selection."

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