Triple boost for Exiles
New deals for Rautenbach and Ion; Halavatau to join in the summer
By Tony Curtis. Last Updated: 04/03/11 5:07pm
Rautenbach: New deal
London Irish have received a triple boost with news Faan Rautenbach and Paulica Ion have signed new deals and Leo Halavatau has agreed to join in the summer.
South Africa prop Rautenbach, who has signed a 12-month extension, has made more than 100 appearances for the Exiles since joining from Western Province in 2005.
Romanian international Ion has put pen to paper on a two-year deal, having initially joined the club from Bath in 2009.
Tonga-born prop Leo Halavatau will make the switch to Irish in the summer from Championship outfit Birmingham & Solihull.
Halavatau, who has already guested for the club's A team, has agreed a two-year deal and is relishing the chance to prove himself at the top level.
Halavatau said: "Playing in the Aviva Premiership has always been a goal of mine and I am delighted that London Irish has given me the opportunity.
"There are some world-class players at London Irish and I am relishing the opportunity to play alongside them all when I start training in the summer.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Birmingham & Solihull and I would like to thank all the coaching staff for their support during my time here.
"However it is time to test myself further and I look forward to taking on a new challenge with London Irish next season."