French duo boost Exiles pack
London Welsh add weight to front row
Last Updated: 28/08/12 1:35pm
Franck Montanella: Capped once for France
London Welsh have given their pack a much-needed boost with the signings of Bourgoin props Franck Montanella and Arthur Joly.
The Exiles have had little time to put a squad together since winning promotion to the Premiership on appeal after their initial application was rejected.
Widely tipped to go straight back down again, their pack is seen as one of their weakest areas and news of the signings will certainly be welcome at the Exiles.
Montanella, who was capped once by France against New Zealand in 2007, comes with a reputation as an effective scrummager.
The 30-year-old, 6ft 1in prop, who weighs in at 19st 6lb, spent two seasons at Stade Francais before moving to Pro D2 Pays d'Aix side in 2009 and then on to Bourgoin in 2011.
Joly, 24, has represented France at Under U20 level in the Six Nations and was selected for the 2007 IRB Under-19 World Championships in 2007 in Belfast.
The 19st 2lb front row was with Stade Francais for four seasons, gaining Top 14 and Amlin Challenge Cup experience before he moved to Bourgoin in 2011.
"They're both very experienced in the French leagues, which is a tough environment for front five forwards," said London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones.
"They're both good scrummagers and they carry well - they'll give us some much needed bulk.
"With Franck and Arthur on board, as well as Paulica Ion and the boys we've kept from last year, our front row is capable of competing in the Aviva Premiership."