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22:59 29 December 2015

Rugby: Mafi signs for Bath in English Premiership

LONDON, Dec. 29, Kyodo

Japan and NTT Communications Shining Arcs No. 8 Amanaki Lelei Mafi has signed for Bath in the English Premiership, the club announced on Tuesday.

Mafi, who starred for the Brave Blossoms in this year's World Cup in England, will leave for the country once the Japanese season concludes at the end of January.

"I'm really looking forward to arriving at Bath. They are a very compelling side to watch play, and I know that joining them will be the best environment for me to continue developing my game," Mafi said on Bath's official website.

"I'm also looking forward to a new adventure in England. I've had a great time in Japan, and would like to thank everyone at NTT Shining Arc for their support."

The Tonga-born 25-year-old Mafi set up the dramatic winning try in Japan's famous 34-32 win over South Africa in September, and scored tries against Scotland and the United States.

"Amanaki is a talented young player who had a great Rugby World Cup, and we're excited to see what he can do in a Bath jersey," Bath's head coach Mike Ford said. "We have some very good players in our back row already, but we're always looking to strengthen the squad, and Amanaki will give us another option in a hugely competitive position."

Bath are currently seventh after seven games in the 12-team Premiership, which will end with the final on May 28.

==Kyodo

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