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Cardiff sign Lopeti Timani ahead of 2022-23

First Team News | 27th April 2022

Cardiff Rugby are thrilled to announce the signing of Lopeti Timani from RC Toulonnaise.

The 6ft 5ins, 19 stone second-row will arrive at the Arms Park in the summer to provide further muscle to the pack, having spent the past season at Toulon. 

A former Australian international, with 12 caps, who now represents Tonga, Timani is renowned for his physical prowess, athleticism and ball-carrying ability. 

He is the fourth signing ahead of the 2022-23 season, following Thomas Young, Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams.

Timani said: “I’m really looking forward to linking up with Cardiff and have heard a lot of good things about the set-up there and life in Wales in general. Playing in Cardiff has always been a highlight of our tours.

“As a family we have enjoyed our time in France and I am very grateful to Toulon for the opportunity this season. I remain fully committed to them for the rest of the campaign but we are also looking forward to a new chapter in Cardiff.

“I know a couple of the guys there and feel the style of play will suit me. I also feel I can bring my own game for the benefit of the team and will do everything I can to contribute. 

“I’ve had some good conversations with Dai and having seen his plans for the club plus the signings made, I’m just really excited to get involved. 

“There is some good strength and competition building so I’m just looking forward to that challenge, contributing on and off the pitch and getting a taste of life in Wales.”

The 31-year-old grew up in Tonga before moving to Australia at 18-years-old, where he began playing rugby league. 

He soon switched back to union with the Junior Waratahs and broke into their senior squad in 2012. Timani spent five years playing Super Rugby both for the Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels, before moving to France in 2018.

The versatile forward spent three seasons with La Rochelle and moved to Toulon this year, where he has so far made 12 appearances this season. 

Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young said: “We are really pleased to bring Lopeti on board for next season and believe he can have a big impact here.

“He is a vastly experienced player, who is used to playing in Europe and the style of play here. He brings a real physical presence and combines that with an impressive work-rate, line out prowess and ball-handling ability.

“The signing of Lopeti fills the space in the squad left by Cory Hill last summer and gives us some quality in the second-row, which will drive competition.”