London Irish have secured the signing of South Africa international Marcel van der Merwe ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The 30-year-old will link up with the Exiles from La Rochelle after completing a short-term deal with the French club. Having started his career with South African club Cheetahs in 2011 and made a switch to Bulls in 2014.
Van der Merwe made his Top 14 debut with Toulon in 2016 and went on to make close to 100 appearances for the club before rejoining Bulls in 2020.
“I’m very excited – it’s a new chapter in my career," he told the club's official website.
“London Irish are a Club that are moving in the right direction, so it’s an exciting opportunity for me. The timing feels right.
“I’ve played English teams quite a lot throughout my time in France, so I know what to expect of the league and everything it throws up. I can’t wait to get going with London Irish.”
The 6ft 2in prop made his international debut for the Springboks in 2014 and has gone on to play seven Tests with his last appearance coming during August 2015.
London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney believes van der Merwe will be a great addition to the squad.
“Marcel is a key addition to the squad ahead of the start of the 2021/22 season.
“He will bring great experience and quality to our pack and will complement the existing players we’ve already got in the forwards.
“We’re really pleased that he has decided to join the Club and we’re looking forward to him joining up with us in August for his pre-season.”