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Exiles sign six

London Welsh have bolstered their front row with six signings as Taione Vea, Ricky Reeves, Shane Cahill, Jack Gilding, Nathan Taylor and Jimmy Litchfield all join the Exiles ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season.

The additions mean Welsh have brought in 10 players this week after Olly Barkley, Tristan Roberts, Nic Reynolds and Chris Elder also signed for the club.

It is a strong statement of intent from the Exiles, who secured promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking last week following a 48-28 aggregate final win over Bristol.

Head coach Justin Burnell told the club website: "What's exciting about all six of these new signings is that they may have different levels of experience but they all fit in to what part of London Welsh is about.

"They all possess that same determination, resilience, team spirit and ethos which has proved so critical to the team's success this past season. They're also quite big, physical, boys.

"The demands of the Premiership compared to the Championship are going to be huge so strength in depth absolutely paramount to us. Therefore we are still actively looking to recruit more players."

Vea, who plays at tighthead prop and weighs nearly 20 stone, has six caps for Tonga and arrives from Wasps where he made 15 appearances.

The 25-year-old will be joined by Wasps team-mate Reeves, who previously played for Bedford Blues and helped the club reach the Championship final in 2013.

Reeves will face competition for the loosehead prop spot from Cahill, who comes from Cornish Priates, while tighthead Gilding arrives from Italian side Viadana.

Taylor and Litchfield, both 22, join Welsh from Hartpury College, who were last season crowned National League Two champions.

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