Connacht head coach Kieran Keane has bolstered his squad with the signing of former New Zealand U20 international Pita Ahki.

The 25-year-old centre arrives from Mitre 10 Cup side Waikato having previously played Super Rugby with the Blues and the Hurricanes.

Ahki has played at U20 level for both Tonga (2011) and New Zealand (2012), and was part of the All Blacks Sevens team that won a World Cup Sevens medal in 2013.

Akhi also helped New Zealand to a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The midfielder played just 11 minutes of Super Rugby last season, and his most successful campaign to date was in 2013/14 where he made nine appearances and scored two tries for the Blues.

"Pita is a highly-rated young player who has played Super Rugby for the Blues and the Hurricanes," Keane said today.

"He is a strong pacey player who will add to our attacking options. I think he will fit in well at Connacht and I am delighted to be welcoming him to the province."

Akhi admitted Connacht’s standing in the game was a factor in his decision to join the province.

"I am looking forward to the prospect of playing European and PRO14 rugby," he said.

"Connacht have developed a huge reputation as a proud club with community central to everything they do.

"I can’t wait to join up with the squad and meet the Sportsground crowd."

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