London Irish, who have had a penchant for world-class signings under Declan Kidney, have just sealed recruitment with a difference, snapping up Andrei Mahu, a Moldovan lock from the Russian league.
According to a statement from the Exiles, the 29-year-old lock will join the ahead of the 2020/21 season, moving from Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsk where he played against Irish for the Russian side in the Challenge Cup in 2017.
Mahu previously played for Politehnica Iasi, Piacenza, Zebre, Timisoara Saracens and Farul Constanta.
That is a list of unfashionable clubs very much removed from the places where headline Kidney signings such as Sean O’Brien, Waisake Naholo, Adam Coleman and a whole truckload of other top tier international players earned their crust before signing for Irish.
Director of rugby Kidney, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming Andrei to the club from the start of next season. He will bring his experience to our pack and will add more depth to our second row department.”
?? | London Irish have completed the signing of Moldova international Andrei Mahu.
The lock moves from Krasny Yar, where he played against Irish the Challenge Cup in 2017, starting in all six pool matches.
Welcome, Andrei! ??
— London Irish (@londonirish) October 22, 2020
Mahu added: “I’m really excited to be joining London Irish. I can’t wait to meet up with my new teammates as we prepare for our first season back in London at the new stadium. It’s an incredibly exciting new chapter for the club – and I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Kidney vowed some weeks ago at the end of the 2019/20 regular-season Premiership campaign to make London Irish a much tougher team to beat when the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season gets going in November. Irish’s form in the recent restart was underwhelming, the Exiles losing eight of their nine matches.
They now have five-and-a-half weeks to get ready for their new campaign opener, a November 21 trip to Worcester, and they know that with the safety net of Saracens’ automatic relegation no longer protecting them next term, their recent run of results can’t be repeated.
“It’s important we give the supporters answers,” admitted Kidney to Irish fans at a supporters’ club Zoom function. “We’re a club that focuses on results, not excuses – but it’s important to communicate with our supporters through the good times and the not so good times.”
Quality insight from @SimonZebo on RugbyPass Offload this week to chat through his Heineken Champions Cup Final.
+ Six Nations Preview, Bledisloe and @DylanHartley on how Eddie Jones picked his squad ?
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 21, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now