Leinster sign Samoan Rugby League international Ben Te'o
Leinster have moved to increase their centre options following Brian O'Driscoll's retirement by signing New Zealand-born Samoa Rugby League international Ben Te'o.
Te'o, 27, will join the Pro12 champions when his season with Australian Rugby League club the South Sydney Rabbitohs finishes in early September.
The New Zealand-born player has played rugby union in the past.
Te'o will make his 150th National Rugby League appearance on Thursday.
That will be when the Rabbitohs take on one of his former clubs the Brisbane Broncos.
Leinster coach Matt O'Connor said that he had been looking to sign Te'o for "some time".
|Ben Te'o factfile|
|Born in Auckland, January 1987|
|Played for Junior Kiwis Rugby League team 2005|
|Made National Rugby League debut for the Wests Tigers in 2007|
|Played for Samoa in 2008 Rugby League World Cup|
|Has played for the Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League clubs in last five years|
"I was home during the summer and met with him a number of times," said Australian native O'Connor.
"He is keen and eager to make a lasting impression at Leinster and to develop into a world-class rugby player.
"He has been a great professional in all of the clubs that he has played with and he has all the physical attributes to compete and deliver for Leinster.
"His presence will give us a different dynamic in the midfield."
O'Connor says that he is not concerned at Te'o's recent lack of rugby union experience.
"It is something that I dealt with myself as a player but with his professionalism, his physicality and his skill set, there is no reason why the transition can't be a success.
"Both codes are littered with examples of players that have made the transition and I look forward to working directly with Ben when he arrives.
"He is a dynamic and explosive ball carrier and that physicality will enhance our offering both in attack and in our defence."