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Dublin: 24 °C Monday 22 July, 2019
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London Irish have made another exciting signing for next season

Bob Casey has managed to get another deal over the line as Asaeli Tikoirotuma signs on.

Tikoirotuma played against Leinster this season in Europe.
Tikoirotuma played against Leinster this season in Europe.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LONDON IRISH HAVE endured a hugely disappointing campaign in the Aviva Premiership, but the club is intent on bouncing back strongly next season under new head coach Tom Coventry.

With that in mind, the announcement of another exciting signing this afternoon in the shape of Fijian wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma adds to the sense that the Exiles can turn things around in 2015/16.

Tikoirotuma follows Irish lock Eoin Sheriff, All Blacks prop Ben Franks, Australian scrum-half Brendan McKibbin, Northampton centre Dom Waldouck and Scotland flyer Sean Maitland in agreeing terms with London Irish.

Coventry arrives in as head coach from the Chiefs in New Zealand, whom he has helped to two Super Rugby titles in his capacity as assistant coach.

With Irishmen Jamie Hagan, Conor Gilsenan, Eoin Griffin, Eamonn Sheridan [heading for Oyonnax next season] and Tomás O’Leary [who is leaving for Munster] in the squad and London Irish adamant that they can strengthen their former links with the IRFU, they are likely to be many Irish rugby fans’ favoured Premiership team next season.

Mick Crossan led a consortium of London-based Irish businessmen in buying the club in 2013, firmly believing that London Irish could move back towards Keith Wood’s old idea of a ‘fifth province’.

Bob Casey, the former Leinster, Ireland and London Irish lock, has been working as the club’s operations director, essentially making him the brains behind the entire organisation.

Aseli Tikoirotuma scores their second try Tikoirotuma scored a superb try against Leinster at the Stoop. Source: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

The capture of Tikoirotuma from Premiership rivals Harlequins is another demonstration of Casey’s fine work off the field, with the electric wing having previously worked with Coventry at the Chiefs.

Tikoirotuma’s magnificent try against Leinster in the Champions Cup pool stages was perhaps the highlight of his season with Quins, whose director of rugby Conor O’Shea thanked the nine-times capped Fiji international.

“We are all grateful for Tiks’ contribution to us this season,” said O’Shea. ”I know he is looking forward to linking up with his old coach Tom Coventry. He and his family move with our best wishes.”

London Irish have added another Irishman to their Premiership squad

A former Ireland second row has been tasked with bringing London Irish back to the big time

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Murray Kinsella

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