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Mapusua to end Irish stay

London Irish have announced the departure of their star centre Seilala Mapusua.

The Samoan international will join Japanese league side Kubota Spears this summer, ending his five-year stint at Irish when the current campaign finishes.

Mapusua, 30, has proved to be among the most astute overseas signings in Premiership history since linking up with Irish from Otago Highlanders in 2006. He has so far made 111 appearances for Irish, and is a past winner of the prestigious Rugby Players' Association players' player of the year award.

He said: "I will be sad to leave London Irish. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have made a lot of friends on and off the field.

"I would like to thank everyone for the fantastic way they have treated me and my family.

"I would particularly like to thank the coaches for the opportunities they have given me and the supporters for always being behind me and the squad. We will truly miss London Irish.

"All this said, there is still a little while before I go and there is still a job for me to do here between now and the end of the season.

"My priority right now is to do everything I can to help the team to finish in a top four position in the Premiership and end the season on a high."

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