Newport Gwent Dragons sign Anitelea Tuilagi from Sale Sharks

Centre Anitelea Tuilagi has won seven caps for Samoa
Centre Anitelea Tuilagi has won seven caps for Samoa

Newport Gwent Dragons have signed Samoa centre Anitelea "Andy" Tuilagi from Sale Sharks on a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old, who can also play on the wing, played 42 games over three seasons in the English Premiership, despite a lay-off with a broken arm.

Tuilagi has played for Leicester Tigers and Leeds Carnegie, as well as a stint in rugby league at St Helens.

"Andy is exactly what we want in our backline," said Dragons head coach Darren Edwards.

"We were keen to look at the strengths we have within our squad and make careful signings based on players who we feel will add to our game.

"Having worked with Andy at Leeds, I'm very aware of his qualities as a player and am confident that he will be successful at Rodney Parade.

"We have a great deal of skill and pace in our backs and Andy will bring a physicality and a line-breaking ability that will really complement our current squad."

The Samoan's arrival at the Dragons has been delayed by red tape.

"This has been a very long process for the Dragons and for Andy," said director of rugby Rob Beale.

"I know there has been media speculation over the past couple of months, but we had to ensure that this deal was done properly and that Andy had the necessary documentation in place before the signing was made.

"Having said that, Andy's reputation speaks for itself and I am confident that the wait will be well worth it."