Ruan Botha (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – English club London Irish have confirmed the signing of lock Ruan Botha from the Sharks in Durban.

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Botha becomes the latest in an ever-growing list of South Africans who have committed to a move to Europe in the coming months. 

The 27-year-old Botha, who stands 2.05m and weighs 124kg, 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 in June 2020 in preparation for the 2020/21 campaign at the club’s Brentford Community Stadium.

Botha, who has made 64 appearances in Super Rugby, has captained the Sharks.

“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,” Declan Kidney, London Irish director of rugby, said.

“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,” Botha added.

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 newly-promoted Exiles.

The Sharks have been hit by departures from the union by flyhalf Robert du Preez and hooker Akker van der Merwe, while the Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Dan, will also enjoy stints at the Sale Sharks in 2020.

— London Irish (@LiRFC) May 20, 2019

— London Irish (@LiRFC) May 20, 2019

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