LONDON Irish have been handed a boost with the news that Samoan international centre Setaimata Sa will be available for the rest of the season.

Sa signed a three-year deal last year but his debut has been delayed as he has had to wait for a UK Visa. That has now been granted – much to the delight of Exiles director of rugby Brian Smith.

“It has been a long process but we are delighted that Sa can now join up with the squad,” Smith said. “He is itching to be involved and the squad is looking forward to having him on board.

“Once he gets the hang of playing rugby union again there will be no better all round midfielder in the country.”

Sa has been capped both by New Zealand and Samoa in rugby league, while he made his international rugby union debut in November, helping Samoa beat Canada.

At club level, he has played rugby league for the Sydney Roosters in Australia and the Catalan Dragons in the Super League.

Sa has joined up with the squad this week but is unlikely to feature in Irish’s LV= Cup match against Worcester Warriors at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Irish lost 35-11 when the sides met in the Premiership back in September, but Smith’s side have won their last three games and know that victory on Sunday would put them in a strong position to qualify from Pool 3.