London Irish have secured the signing of lock Ruan Botha from Super Rugby club Sharks for the 2019/20 season.
The 27-year-old, who has played for Lions and Stormers before joining Sharks in 2016 will join the Exiles on an initial six-month contract as a World Cup cover and will link up with the squad for the pre-season in June once his commitment with Japanese club Kubota Spears ends.
“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," he told the official website of the club.
"I look forward to meeting up with my teammates for pre-season.”
Botha will join the likes of Allan Dell, Adam Coleman, Sean O’Brien, Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu, Paddy Jackson, Curtis Rona, Waisake Naholo and Will Goodrick-Clarke in the club's new signing for this season as they make a return to the Premiership after winning the Championship in the 2018/19 season.
“Ruan being available during the Rugby World Cup period is a major boost to us," said London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney.
"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.”
?? | London Irish can today confirm the signing of second row forward @ruan5botha. Botha will initially join the Exiles on a six-month contract as cover for the Rugby World Cup before re-joining the club in June 2020. #BothaSigns— London Irish (@LiRFC) May 20, 2019
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