1:30pm Wednesday 14th August 2013
By Iwan Gabe Davies
FORMER Newport Gwent Dragons centre Andy Tuilagi is looking to join London Irish after spending the last week training with the Aviva Premiership club.
The 27-year-old Samoa international is looking for a new club after leaving Rodney Parade at the end of the last campaign.
Tuilagi spent two seasons at the Dragons after joining them in December 2011 having recovered from a long lay-off with a broken arm.
The 6ft 17st 8lb powerhouse is known for his big physical presence and his direct running is a major feature of his game.
Tuilagi scored five tries in his 29 games for the Gwent region.
He was initially selected to play for London Irish ahead of their pre-season friendly away at Nottingham tomorrow (FRI) night
But it was then announced he had to withdraw from the side, although he is still training with the club who play their home matches at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.
He is part of the six rugby-playing Tuilagi brothers, the most famous being Leicester Tigers, England and British and Irish Lions centre Manu who came on as a replacement in the 41-16 series-winning victory over the Wallabies last month.
Andy Tuilagi signed his first professional contract with Leicester after spending a year in their academy, following in the footsteps of elder brothers Freddie, Henry and Alesana.
While on loan at Leeds, he helped the Yorkshire club win promotion to the Premiership and was rewarded with a permanent contract.
He was a member of Samoa’s squad at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France before moving to Sale Sharks where he suffered an injury-blighted three years which included the long lay-off with the broken arm.
He can also play on the wing and has plied his trade for St Helens in rugby league.
The centre scored his first Dragons try in the final pool game of the Amlin Challenge Cup at Rodney Parade against Italian semi-professional side I Cavalieri Prato in January 2012, the home side winning 45-16.
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