Paulo is tackled by new regional teammate Alex Cuthbert
Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Samoan powerhouse Filo Paulo.
The 25-year-old who starred for the Auckland-based Blues in Super Rugby will join their namesakes in Cardiff imminently and will add real physical presence to the Arms Park outfit.
Paulo was impressive in Samoa's histories 26-19 victory over Wales as the Millennium Stadium in November, with a series of bone-crunching hits.
And the 6ft 6ins, 19st forward is determined to make his weight felt once again in the Welsh capital.
"I am very excited to be joining the Blues," said Paulo.
"I know a lot of great players have worn the team's colours, so I am extremely grateful to be offered this opportunity and I will be giving my all in order to meet the high standards set by my team-mates, the coaching staff and the supporters.
"Cardiff is a great city and the people are very friendly which will make the transition to Wales much easier.
"The dedicated fans and awesome game atmosphere are second to none so I am really looking forward to the challenge."
New Zealand-born Paulo is the latest international addition to the Blues pack following the signings of Matthew Rees and Gethin Jenkins for next season.
And he will be arriving at the Arms Park in the coming weeks.
"Filo will be a strong addition to our squad and we are delighted to have secured his services after long discussions with his people in New Zealand," said Blues chief executive Richard Holland.
"He is a big ball-carrying second row or blindside and the attributes he has certainly fits the bill of what we require at the Blues.
"We were monitoring him before he became an international and were impressed with his performances during the autumn internationals when he was part of the Samoan team that played France, Canada and defeated Wales.
"Filo will be arriving in the Blues in the next few weeks and once he's settled in the supporters I'm sure will look forward to seeing him in action on the pitch."
Director of rugby Phil Davies was also delighted to secure Paulo's signature and reckons he will provide invaluable versatility to the Blues pack.
"It's important to have certain versatility and Filo's ability to play four, five, six or eight was a big influence on him coming here," added Davies.
"He is only 25 and has played Super 15s for Auckland Blues and has played international rugby for Samoa.
"He is the right age profile and has an immaculate injury record, physically he is extremely fit.
"He will definitely add value to the current crop of back five players for us.
"He will be with us all the time, week in week out, and we have four other second rows who are all Welsh qualified. His arrival will add strength and depth to the team."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
All the build up to Australia and the Dove Men Series in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Wales assistant coach Rob Howley, captain Sam Warburton, centre Jamie Roberts and lock Alun Wyn Jones. We also find out moe about the new pitch at the Millennium Stadium from WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis and Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates, while Ospreys coach Steve Tandy looks ahead to the LV Cup.