Academy stars commit to Exiles
Booth pleased as five young players re-sign
By Scott Mathie. Last Updated: 02/03/11 3:21pm
Joseph: New deal
A quintet of exciting young players from London Irish's academy have committed their immediate future to the club.
"We are very proud of our academy and our academy products. These boys epitomise what we are about."
Toby Booth Quotes of the week
Jonathan Joseph, Matt Garvey, Jamie Gibson, Max Lahiff and Kieran Low have all signed a two-year extension and have been tipped to follow in the footsteps of England debutant Alex Corbisiero.
London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: "We are very proud of our academy and our academy products.
"These boys epitomise what we are about. We are delighted that we can continue their developments which will drive their rugby progress and London Irish further.
"They have all played first XV rugby, and played well, and will certainly figure at that level going forward."
Joseph, 19, has the highest profile among the group - and since his debut last year against the Cardiff Blues, has caught the eye by scoring seven tries in just 20 appearances.
Joseph, who can play on the win, in the centres or at full-back, couples his attacking prowess with a solid defensive game, with his displays earning an England U20 call-up.
Garvey, 23, has broken through this season and before sustaining an injury had been challenging regularly for a starting spot in the second row. His aggressive defence and effective ball carrying has led to stellar performances on the field, prompting regular praise from Booth.
After some dynamic performances in the A League this season, Gibson, 20, has forced his way into the first team. Gibson joined the academy from Marlborough College in 2009 and has played for England at both U18 and U20 level.
Lahiff made his first-team debut against London Wasps in 2009 and has featured several times in the Premiership, Heineken Cup and the LV=Cup. Lahiff is physically very imposing for 21-year-old and has made a big impression on the senior players at the club.
Low, a 6ft 6in lock, joined Irish in 2009 from Chichester and has gone on to play for England U20 in their victories over Wales and France in this year's Six Nations. Low has started two of the last three Premiership games in the second row alongside Nick Kennedy, performing outstandingly well.