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London Irish have added another Irishman to their Premiership squad

Meanwhile, there’s another former Leinster lock on the move in England.

LONDON IRISH HAVE announced the signing of Irishman Eoin Sheriff from Saracens ahead of next season.

The Wexford-born second row came through the ranks at Leinster, earning his debut under Joe Schmidt in a 2010 Pro12 clash with Glasgow Warriors, before leaving the province for Sarries in 2011.

Eoin Sheriff Sheriff in Leinster colours back in 2010. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Sheriff has gone on to make a total of 20 appearances for Mark McCall’s side, including outings in the Heineken Cup and the Premiership, while also spending some time on loan with the Bedford Blues in the Championship this season.

The former Ireland U18, U19 and U20 lock will hook up with compatriots Eoin Griffin, Jamie Hagan, Tom Court and Conor Gilsenan at London Irish next season, although Tomás O’Leary is leaving the club to re-join Munster.

Bob Casey, the former Ireland lock and now London Irish’s operations director, welcomed the signing of Sheriff.

“Eoin is an ambitious player who is excited to be part of our plans going forward,” said Casey in an official statement by the Exiles.

He has represented Ireland through the age groups and also has Premiership experience. He has the right character and the right attributes to be a very good player for London Irish.”

For his part, Sheriff expressed pleasure at seeing the deal completed:

“I am really looking forward to starting at London Irish. The facilities at Hazelwood are outstanding and their ambition for the future is clear to see. It is an exciting move and one I am relishing.”

Current Chiefs assistant coach Tom Coventry is set to take over at London Irish later this year, while the club has also confirmed the additions of All Blacks prop Ben Franks, Scotland international Sean Maitland, Australian halfback Brendan McKibbin and others.

Mark Flanagan Former Leinster man Flanagan is also on the move. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Meanwhile, Irish second row Mark Flanagan will join Bedford Blues in the Championship next season from French outfit Mont-de-Marsan.

The 25-year-old has excelled in the Pro D2 since leaving native province Leinster in 2013, but has opted to continue his career in England.

Flanagan played nine times for Leinster during Schmidt’s reign as head coach, impressing with his set-piece work and skills in open play. A cousin of Devin Toner’s, Flanagan has been working under Scotland’s legendary lock Scott Murray in Mont-de-Marsan.

Mark Flanagan is a player who Scott Murray raves about and it is something of a coup for us to get him to Goldington Road,” said Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer.

“From what we’ve seen and heard, his set piece work is outstanding and that is so important to us in launching our attacking game.

“He’s learned a lot while in France and now has the chance to put that to great effect in the Championship.”

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Murray Kinsella

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