Duo commit to Exiles

Coetzee and Johnson sign new deals

Last Updated: 21/01/09 12:35pm

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Coetzee: New deal

Coetzee: New deal

Sky Bet

Forwards Danie Coetzee and Gary Johnson have agree new deals with Guinness Premiership title-chasers London Irish.

South African hooker Coetzee has agreed a 12-month extension, while 24-year-old lock Johnson, a graduate of the club's academy scheme, has signed a three-year deal.

Coetzee, 31, joined the Exiles in 2003 and is looking forward to extending his stay. He said: "I've enjoyed my rugby at London Irish over the past five years and look forward to contributing to realising the ambitions of our talented squad for another season."

Johnson arrived at Irish as a 17-year-old and has been part of the senior squad for the past two seasons.

And he believes the club has a bright future ahead of it. He said: "Toby Booth recruited me into the academy and he is now giving me the opportunity to play in one of the best teams in the country. I've no doubt we have a big future and I want to be part of it."

Quality

Head coach Booth has already seen confirm Paul Hodgson, Nick Kennedy, Topsy Ojo, Faan Rautenbach, Declan Danaher and Kieran Roche commit to new deals at the clubs - and he is delighted Coetzee and Johnson have followed suit.

Booth said: "There is much debate about the squad sizes of the Premier Rugby clubs. Everyone knows that we are backing quality over quantity in our squad.

"The two players whose re-signings we're confirming today contribute greatly to maintaining the quality of our playing staff.

"Most clubs with large squads end up with a small core of players that play regularly, all our players get game time and Danie and Gary are a key component in ensuring we continue to compete at the top level."

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