Ruan Botha: London Irish sign South African forward on six-month contract

Ruan Botha made his Super Rugby debut for the Sharks in 2012
Ruan Botha made his Super Rugby debut for the Sharks in 2012

London Irish have signed forward Ruan Botha from Durban-based Super Rugby side The Sharks on a six-month deal.

The South African has made 64 Super Rugby appearances and will initially join Irish as Rugby World Cup cover.

The 27-year-old will then re-join the Exiles at the conclusion of a spell with Kubota Spears in Japan in time for the English pre-season in June 2020.

"Ruan being available during the Rugby World Cup period is a boost to us," director of rugby Declan Kidney said.

"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."

Botha is the latest of a host of players to join London Irish, who achieved an immediate return to the Premiership by winning the Championship title this season.

Allan Dell, Adam Coleman, Sean O'Brien, Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu, Paddy Jackson, Curtis Rona, Waisake Naholo and Will Goodrick-Clarke have also signed for the promoted Exiles.