London Irish can today confirm the signing of second row forward Ruan Botha from The Sharks in Durban.

The 27-year-old, who stands 2.05m and weighs 124kgs, will initially join the Exiles on a six-month contract acting as Rugby World Cup cover.

Following a spell with Kubota Spears in Japan, he will then re-join London Irish for pre-season in June 2020 in preparation for the 2020/21 campaign at the club’s Brentford Community Stadium.

The South African lock, who has made 64 appearances in Super Rugby, has also captained the Sharks.

Declan Kidney, London Irish director of rugby, is excited at the prospect of adding Botha to the squad. “Ruan being available during the Rugby World Cup period is a major boost to us. He has a lot of top-class rugby experience and will also bring a lot more to the squad in terms of his leadership qualities.”

The second row forward spoke of his excitement of joining up with the club, saying “London Irish is entering an exciting period in its history and I am immensely proud to be joining at such an important time as they return to the Premiership. I look forward to meeting up with my teammates for pre-season.”

Ruan Botha joins Allan Dell, Adam Coleman, Sean O’Brien, Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu, Paddy Jackson, Curtis Rona, Waisake Naholo and Will Goodrick-Clarke in signing for the Exiles.

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