Cardiff Blues sign U.S. rugby star Samu Manoa from Toulon

Samu Manoa is tackled during the Top 14 match between Racing Metro 92 and Racing Club de Toulon. Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

PRO 14 side Cardiff Blues have signed U.S. rugby international Samu Manoa from Toulon.

The 6-foot-7, 20-stone No. 8 arrives in Wales following three seasons in France, having previously spent four seasons at Northampton Saints, where he won the Aviva Premiership in 2014.

He also picked up Northampton's Player, Players' Player and Supporters' Player of the Year awards and was described at the time by ESPN Scrum as "perhaps the finest No.8 playing the game in the northern hemisphere".

"I'm really looking forward to the next chapter and getting stuck in at Cardiff Blues," Manoa said.

"They had great season last year, winning the European Challenge Cup and sealing a return to the Champions Cup, so it is a great time to join."

Manoa follows the signings of Moldovan prop Dmitri Arhip from Ospreys and Scotland international Jason Harries from Edinburgh.

"This is another significant signal of intent as we build towards the new season and a return to the European Champions Cup," Cardiff head coach John Mulvihill added.

"Samu is a big, physical man, who will compete with Nick Williams for the number eight jersey and bring an abundance of experience to our pack."