Leicester Tigers will welcome Joe Taufete’e to the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The USA international will move to Leicester from Major League Rugby club, LA Giltinis.
Taufete’e has been capped on 34 occasions by the USA Eagles since his Test debut against South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and is the all-time record-holder for most Test tries by a hooker with 22.
The hooker was born in American Samoa and attended Santa Ana College (California), where he played American football as a defensive tackle. During his school years, he was recognised with All-Conference honours.
He made the move to rugby union in 2011 and represented American clubs Belmont Shore (California) and Scioto Valley (Ohio) as well as a short-stint with New Zealand club Otorohanga in Waikato.
In 2016, Taufete’e joined the San Diego Breakers before moving to England to join the Worcester Warriors during the 2016/17 Premiership season.
He represented the Warriors on more than 50 occasions before joining French club Lyon in 2020, who he spent two seasons with before agreeing a short-term deal with MLR club, LA Giltinis earlier this year.
Speaking about the addition of Taufete’e, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “We are really pleased to be able to add a player of Joe’s experience, in not only the Premiership but also international rugby, to Leicester Tigers.”
“He is a powerful player, in attack and defence, and adds competition to our hooking ranks at the club ahead of the new season.
“Joe is an impressive young man who has shown a hunger to want to be a part of our club and contribute to Leicester Tigers, on and off the field, as well as competing at the highest level of Premiership and European rugby.”
Discussing the move to Tigers, Taufete’e said: “To join a historical club like Leicester Tigers and add my name to into the history of a club like this means to me a great deal.”
“I know how it is and what it means to be a Tiger, to push yourself to extremes.
“I have seen how the program has grown since Steve Borthwick took over and I am excited to be playing under his guidance.”
Birthplace: Nu’uuli, American Samoa
Date of birth: 4/10/1992
Teams: San Diego Breakers, Worcester Warriors, Lyon, LA Giltinis, USA Selects, USA