Tykes sign Argentine lock Bouza

Leeds Tykes have today announced that they have signed 6'4" Argentinean international second row Pablo Bouza, 33, from NEC Harlequins on a one year contract.

Bouza will be an immediate replacement for Chris Murphy, who has announced today he will retire from professional rugby to take up a career with East Yorkshire-based construction company Beal Homes.

Bouza has been capped 33 times for the Pumas and played in all three Tests in their European tour last Autumn plus starting in the Argentina side that drew with the British and Irish Lions at the Millennium Stadium.

He joined NEC Harlequins last summer, making his debut in the pre-season friendly against London Irish. He went on to make five appearances in National Division One for Quins and will arrive at Headingley Carnegie looking to put his experience to good use.

After making his international debut against Uruguay in June 1996, he went on to represent Argentina in the 2003 World Cup in Australia, scoring four tries in just two appearances. Bouza also represented Argentina at Under 19, Student and A level, as well as competing in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong in 1997.

Commenting on the signing Director of Rugby Stuart Lancaster said, "Pablo is a vastly experienced international second row who will be a great addition to our squad for next season. I have spoken to Dean Richard's, his coach last season, regarding his qualities and he has nothing but praise for him both for his ability and his attitude to the game. He will give us good strength in the second row and I am looking forward to having him in our group."

Bouza will become the fifth Argentinean international to play for the Tykes following on from Octavio Bartolucci, Hernan Senillosa, crowd favourite Diego Albanese and fellow new signing Martin Schusterman. He is the 16th signing for the new season made by Director of Rugby Stuart Lancaster.

So far the Tykes have signed Mike McDonald from Worcester, Tom McGee from Borders, James Parkes from Gloucester, Martin Schusterman from Plymouth, Mark Lock from Wasps, Richard Welding from Cornish Pirates, Jacob Rauluni from Bristol, Mike Aspinall from Harrogate, Darren Edwards from London Irish, John Holtby from Rotherham, Jonny Hepworth from Leinster and Andy Tuilagi from Leicester and Richard Bryan, Rhys Oakley and Leigh Hinton all from Newport Gwent Dragons.

Leeds will begin their National Division One campaign against London Welsh at Headingley Carnegie on Sunday 3rd September, kick off 2.30pm.