London Irish snap up forward Ofisa Treviranus

Ofisa Treviranus
Treviranus played three matches for Samoa at the World Cup

London Irish have signed Samoa international forward Ofisa Treviranus.

The 27-year-old back row arrived at the club on Monday and is line to make his Premiership debut against Wasps at Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Treviranus is seen as a natural replacement for Steffon Armitage, who left to join Toulon in the summer.

"We wanted someone who is hard on the ball like Steff. He has the ability to tackle and is a good carrier," said Irish head coach Toby Booth.

Treviranus, who is 6ft 2in and 15½ stone, impressed at blindside flanker in his country's 17-10 defeat by Wales in the Rugby World Cup.

Exiles tried to bring in Michael Lipman from Melbourne Rebels and then missed out on England international Hendre Fourie to Sale Sharks.

"When Steffon left we wanted to make sure we had a replacement but that did not come to fruition because two deals fell through," added Booth.

"But we have bided our time and waited for the right sort of person. We needed someone who can bring the physicality that Steff and Chris Hala'Ufia have done."

Treviranus who has played 22 Tests for the Pacific Island nation joins the club for an initial period until February 2012 with a view to him then remaining at the club until the end of the 2014 season.

He made his Test debut against Japan in 2009 and has previously been an integral part of the Samoan Sevens side that won the IRB World Series in 2010.

"I have heard a lot of good things from the Samoan boys who have played for London Irish, and I'm looking forward to joining Sailosi Tagicakibau in the squad," said Treviranus.

"I'm keen now to take my career to the next level by playing with the Exiles."