Parker Pen Challenge Cup holders NEC Harlequins have signed Samoan international Steven So'oialo.
The 32-times capped scrum-half joins Quins on a two-year contract from English Division One runners-up Orrell and will compete for a starting berth next season with Irishman Simon Keogh.
The 27-year-old So'oialo, older brother of All Black Rodney So'oialo, is currently with the Pacific Islanders squad preparing for the formidable task of facing the All Blacks in Auckland, but has played for Manu Samoa since 1998 and represented his country at the 1999 and 2003 World Cups. He arrives at the Stoop at the end of the month.
"Steven brings with him a wealth of experience to a key position within the team," said NEC Harlequins Chief Executive Mark Evans. "And I'm confident he will become a valuable member of the Quins squad as we seek to improve further on last season's performance."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.