Super Rugby
Chiefs pinch Crusaders prop Laulala
ESPN Staff
June 11, 2015
Nepo Laulala will head north and join the Chiefs for the next two seasons © Getty Images

The Chiefs have landed a recruitment coup ahead of next season, securing rising Crusaders prop Nepo Laulala on a two-year deal.

The younger brother of former Crusaders and All Blacks centre, Casey; 23-year-old Nepo has played 33 Super Rugby games for the Christchurch-based franchise over the last few seasons. But he will soon pack his bags for Hamilton, the prop citing the chance to be closer to family as one of the key drivers behind his decision.

"The move to the Chiefs will enable me to be closer to my family," he said via a Chiefs media release. "I have really enjoyed my time at the Crusaders but am excited by my new opportunity at the Chiefs."

The Chiefs scrum has struggled at times this season while injuries have also hurt the two-time champions' 2015 campaign. But they are through to the finals and can secure a home qualifying final with a win over the Hurricanes in New Plymouth this weekend.

Briefly looking ahead to next season, Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said Laulala would add to the franchise's already strong culture. "Nepo is a powerful and explosive tighthead who has made a big impression over the past couple of seasons. He's a good man with high aspirations who we believe will make a positive contribution in our environment."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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