The Ospreys today confirmed that they have signed Samoa captain Filipo Levi from Japanese side Ricoh Black Rams
.The 29 year-old second row, moved to Japan in May 2007 after spending five years playing for Highlanders in the Super 14, making 66 appearances, with a further 70 outings for Otago in the NPC to his credit.
Standing 6ft 6inches tall and weighing in at more than 18 stone, Levi is a physical player also capable of playing in the back-row, who is renowned for his ferocity in the tackle and workload around the pitch.
Levi has played 10 times for Samoa, and has also represented the Pacific Islanders on five occasions. He was part of the Islanders squad that toured Europe last autumn, starting against England at Twickenham and in Italy, as well as coming on as a replacement against France.
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley commented: "We are delighted to welcome Filipo to the Ospreys, I'm sure that he will prove to be a valuable addition to the squad over the coming months. He has a wealth of experience at Super 14 and international level, which with his sheer physicality and presence will, I'm sure, see him making quite an impact at the region.
"We have been looking at the possibility of bringing him to the Liberty Stadium for quite some time, so it is great news that we have been able to secure his signature, increasing the options available to us as we look to compete on all three fronts over the next few months."
With Alun-wyn Jones and Ian Gough both on Six Nations duty, Ian Evans ruled out for the season after ACL reconstruction surgery, and Lyndon Bateman suffering a dislocated patella in the left knee playing for Aberavon on Saturday, the news of Levi's signing provides a timely boost for the Ospreys ahead of the end of season run-in.
He will arrive in Ospreylia next week and will be available for selection for the Magners League fixture against Connacht at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday February 22nd (KO 2.15pm).
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.