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WATCH | Jordan Taufua's first Tigers interview

In a wide-ranging chat at the club's Oval Park Headquarters, new recruit Jordan Taufua sits down with LTTV to discuss his decision to make the move from New Zealand to the East Midlands of England and why he chose to pack up his life with the Crusaders after a decade.

Taufua also tells LTTV what he knew of Leicester and the club ahead of arriving and which current and former Tigers helped him make the decision, as well as what he hopes to bring to the squad and much, much more in a must-watch interview with the newest Tiger in Town.

“I know the last couple of years have been tough and hopefully I can come here and bring the energy … and bring Leicester back to what it has been in the past.”

Let it be known, Jordan Taufua is not here for a holiday.

The multiple Super Rugby-winning back-rower is here to work and, after being included in the side to take on London Irish in Round 4 of this season’s Gallagher Premiership on Sunday afternoon, it won’t be long before Leicester supporters see him in action.

Speaking to LTTV after arriving at the club only a week ago, the 27-year-old was a ball of energy and presented with an ear-to-ear grin, despite just stepping of a more than 24-hour journey from his homeland to Oval Park.

“Everyone has been welcoming ... it's good to get a feel around the place,” Taufua told LTTV.

“There is a strong history here at Leicester.”

With more than 100 appearances for the Canterbury Crusaders, including a handful of trophies and years spent playing alongside some of rugby’s biggest names, why was now the time for the Auckland-born flanker to make a change?

“For me, it's a new challenge and the best time in my career to experience a different part of the world and different side of rugby,” he said.

“It's the perfect time.”

Sounds 'perfect' to us.

But, why Leicester Tigers?

“A lot of past Crusaders have come Tigers and similarities with his former club, Taufua was also influenced by a former Leicester player and coach.

“Aaron Mauger ... we've had a few conversations,” recalled Taufua.

“He said it is an awesome place ... I have been picking his brain.”

As well as Mauger, a current Tiger and former team-mate of Taufua’s also helped secure the signature of the back-rower for Leicester.

“It's good to be able to rub shoulders with him [Telusa Veainu] again, I played alongside him back in the day in Canterbury through the academy,” he said.

“He told me, it's a good culture here and a good bunch of men.”

Excited as he – quite obviously is – Taufua did admit it was hard to say goodbye to the only club he has known in his professional career.

 “It was quite tough, I started there back in 2013 and have been there ever since ... it is a big part of my career,” admitted Taufua.

“It's very sad but very exciting.

“I am excited to be here and part of the Tigers Family.”

Announced some time ago, supporters have had to sit and wait, painfully, at times for this star recruit to arrive in Leicester and some even reached out to Taufua via social media to let him know they were excited ahead of his arrival.

Looking back on the time to have gone by from announcement to arrival, Taufua said: “For me, it was about getting a decision out there early just so I could park it ... I think it is time for me to look elsewhere and Leicester was the place.”

“The decision was tough but, once it was made, it was easier for me to just enjoy my footy.

“Some of the people have messaged me through the year to say when am I arriving and can't wait to see you,” added Taufua with a smile.

“They are very passionate fans - similar to what it's like back home - here at Welford Road.

“I've heard a lot of stories ... I can't wait to run out in front of the fans.”

Team-mates and supporters were not the only Tigers eagerly awaiting Taufua’s arrival, with Geordan Murphy equally as keen to see the back-rower added to his squad.

“I am excited to be here and part of the Tigers Family.”

But, what has the gaffer asked of his new recruit since it was confirmed he would become a Tigers player?

“We talked earlier in the year about coming here and doing what I have been doing for the Crusaders,” Taufua recalled of conversations with the Tigers head coach.

“He has just said to get your hands on the ball ... do your thing.

Versatility is an added bonus of Taufua’s addition to the Tigers ranks and the man himself says the number on his back isn’t as important as having his presence felt on the pitch.

“I'm a 6, 8 and cover 7 ... I want my hands on the ball and to make plays in defence,” responded Taufua.

“For me, as a player ... I love running with the ball, running at people and love smashing people too.

“I want to bring the energy ... it's what I thrive off.”

So, with all that said and done, how aware of the current situation is Taufua after recent disappointment for England’s most successful club?

The proven-winner and already this season, two-time trophy winning Taufua has a simple, straight-to-the-point response.

“I know the last couple of years have been tough and hopefully I can come here and bring the energy … and bring Leicester back to what it has been in the past.”

As we said earlier, he is here to work.

Bring on Sunday afternoon in That There London…

Watch the full interview with Taufua above on LTTV.