Talented South African scrum-half Piet van Zyl has made the switch to London Irish from Super Rugby outfit the Blue Bulls.

Representing the Springboks on three occasions, van Zyl, 28, joins former teammate Arno Botha at London Irish. A bullet pass from the breakdown coupled with an excellent kicking game and a cutting edge in attack, van Zyl is a solid acquisition for Irish as fellow number nine Brendan McKibbin continues his recovery from injury.

Bringing Super Rugby experience to the table having made 76 appearances in the competition for both the Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls, van Zyl is ready for the fight as the Exiles strive to steer themselves to safety. Cherwell Software, already an Official Partner of London Irish, are delighted to be announced as Piet van Zyl’s corporate sponsor for this season.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about London Irish and I’m excited at the prospect of playing for the club in the Aviva Premiership,” said van Zyl, who made his debut for the Springboks during a 30-17 victory over Scotland in 2013.

“I wanted a fresh challenge and the opportunity to make the move to the northern hemisphere was too good to turn down.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to help the club move up the Aviva Premiership table and I can’t wait to pull on the famous green jersey.”

Nick Kennedy, Exiles’ director of rugby, is delighted with the signing of van Zyl, saying: “I’m very pleased to welcome Piet to London Irish and he brings a lot of experience to our back division.

“With Brendan McKibbin’s injury, Piet’s arrival bolsters our scrum-half options and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team in the coming weeks.”

London Irish’s next home game will be against Krasny Yar in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday 13 January. Under 13s tickets are just £1 throughout the stadium with adults from £18 from www.lidirect.co.uk or by calling 0118 968 1016 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to noon). 

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