RaboDirect Pro12 - Edinburgh swoop for Francis

Edinburgh have signed Waikato Chiefs stand-off Piers Francis on a two-season deal.

RaboDirect Pro12 - Edinburgh swoop for Francis

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Edinburgh Rugby's Matt Scott (R) celebrates with teamates after their victory over Racing Metro 92 during their European Cup rugby union match at the Yves du Manoir Stadium in Colombes, northwest of Paris, on January 13, 2012. Edinburgh Rugby won 27-24

The England-born 22-year-old spent three years in the development academy at Saracens, before moving to New Zealand aged 18 to fulfil his ambitions of playing top-flight rugby.

Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley said: "We're very pleased to secure the services of Piers Francis, as his introduction will strengthen and increase the competitiveness of our squad across a number of positions."

He added: "He's a very talented individual who is quick, skilful and has a fantastic eye for breaking the line. He's a very good fit for Edinburgh Rugby."

With the 2012 southern hemisphere season now at an end, Francis arrives in Scotland on Wednesday and will begin full training immediately.

He said: "Coming from the UK, I was very excited by an approach from Edinburgh Rugby and it moved very quickly from there.

"It's a new challenge in two great competitions (RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup), where I can test myself and integrate some of the southern hemisphere ways in my game into a club that's packed with internationals.

"I believe I have the skills and the attitude to enjoy success with Edinburgh Rugby and see this as another great opportunity for me to develop my game even further as part of a very professional set-up alongside great players and great coaches."

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