London Wasps are delighted to announce the signing of former All Black lock Ross Filipo from Bayonne on a two-year contract.
Filipo joins Wasps with a wealth of top level rugby experience in the second row.
Capped by the All Blacks and for the New Zealand Maori team, the lock has featured in three Super Rugby Championship winning teams during his time with the Crusaders in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
The New Zealander also featured in the Maori side that beat the touring British and Irish Lions in Hamilton in 2005, a moment he says remains the highlight of his career. Filipo made his test debut against Canada in Hamilton in 2007 and went on to feature in All Black teams who played South Africa, Australia, Scotland and Munster.
The lock, who is renowned for his mobility and ball carrying skills, has also played at blindside flanker and at number eight growing up, coming through the Hurricanes development squad before he gained a place in the draft with the Crusaders franchise.
As well as his time with the Crusaders, Filipo was a key figure for Wellington at NPC level. He joined Bayonne at the end of the 2009 Super 14 season.
London Wasps interim Director of Rugby Leon Holden said: “This is another sign of our desire to strengthen our squad for next season, especially in the pack. Ross’s size, mobility and level of experience will be a great asset to the squad. He is a strong ball carrier and an excellent set-piece operator so we look forward to him joining us in the summer.”
Ross Filipo said: “I am really looking forward to joining Wasps who have exciting plans for next season. I know they have been one of England’s most successful clubs and I hope I can play a role in helping them to getting back to the top of their game.”
Filipo is the fifth player to be signed by the club in recent weeks following announcements that Jeremy Castex (Narbonne), Nicky Robinson (from Gloucester), Ryan Davis (from Exeter) and Chris Bell (from Sale) will also join London Wasps next season.