Harlequins sign U.S. international, former NFL fullback Paul Lasike

Paul Lasike joins Harlequins from Utah Warriors and previously played in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins

Harlequins have signed U.S. international centre and former NFL fullback Paul Lasike.

Lasike, 28, joins Paul Gustard's Premiership outfit from Major League Rugby side Utah Warriors, where he was captain since the start of 2018.

The New Zealand-born centre spent three seasons in the NFL -- first with the Arizona Cardinals and then as a fullback with the Chicago Bears -- before switching to rugby in 2017.

Since then he has made six international appearances for the USA Eagles and featured in their historic 30-29 win over Scotland in June.

Lasike told Quins TV: "Playing rugby in the U.S. and representing them at international level has been an awesome experience. But it was an honour to be asked to join such a prestigious club as Harlequins and I am delighted to be joining.

"I did my own research about the club and I asked a couple of my friends on the U.S. team about the Harlequins and they said, 'Grab the bull by both horns and take it.' It is an exciting, awesome opportunity and now we have the next month to get prepared for the start of the season. I can't wait."

Quins head of rugby Gustard added via the club's official website: "I am delighted Paul is joining us for the start of a new era at Harlequins. He is a player who has enormous game-changing potential. He adds something different to a talented group of centres that we have at the club."

Quins face Sale Sharks in their Premiership opener on Sept.1.