Three-time Premiership and two-time Champions Cup winner Petrus du Plessis is leaving London Irish.
The South African spent a hugely successful seven-year spell with Saracens playing 158 times, moving to Irish in 2017. Du Plessis was a regular for London Irish during the 2017/18 Premiership season, which ended in relegation.
London Irish are third in the Greene King IPA Championship table, having won all five matches so far including a 54-17 win over London Scottish last weekend, but du Plessis will not be sticking around to aid their promotion challenge under Declan Kidney and Les Kiss.
The 37-year-old tighthead is joining PRO14 side Glasgow Warriors.
Du Plessis signature would be a welcome boost for the Scottish club who have lost their Scottish international Zander Ferguson to injury. Ferguson fractured his leg playing for the Warriors against the Cheetahs on September 15th. Ferguson’s injury has ruled him out until at least 2019.
Thanks for all the messages last night.Tough game against a physical Cheetah side and stoked for the lads to get the win.Unfortunately I picked up a knock so I’ll be sidelined for a while but I’ll bounce back.Massive thanks to all the medical staff who helped yesterday?? ???
— Zander Fagerson (@ZanderFagerson) September 17, 2018
122kg Du Plessis has also had spells at Nottingham and Sedgley Park.
Having played 31 Champions Cup matches during an illustrious career, he goes straight into the Warriors Heineken Champions Cup squad ahead of Sunday’s opening game against his former side, Saracens at Scotstoun.
?? NEW SIGNING ??
Petrus du Plessis has joined the club from @LiRFC on a deal until the end of the season.
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) October 9, 2018
Speaking to Glasgow Warriors TV, Petrus du Plessis, said: “I’m very happy to be at Glasgow Warriors, this is a great club.
“It all happened very quickly – within three days I’m here, so I’m very excited to play in the Heineken Champions Cup and Guinness PRO14 this season.
“It’s exciting that my first game could be against my former club Saracens – you couldn’t write the script if you tried!
“I’ve heard the matchday experience at Scotstoun is fantastic, the crowd really gets behind the team, they’re vocal and they’re loud.
“Glasgow Warriors play a really expansive and physical game, which is great and I’ve only heard good things about the club from former players.”
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach, Dave Rennie added: “It’s great that we’ve been able to obtain someone of Petrus’ experience at such short notice.
“He has played rugby at the highest level, is a good man and a really solid set piece operator.
“With Zander (Fagerson) and Siua (Halanukonuka) injured he brings some much needed depth at tight-head.”
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London Irish Director of rugby Declan Kidney thanked Du Plessis for his contributions to the club.
“Petrus has been a good person to have in the squad, both on and off the pitch, and he leaves with our good wishes,” he said. “Because we have no A League fixtures the opportunities for game time are limited, which is why we have agreed to release him at this stage of his career.
“We believe we still have enough quality tight-head props in the squad such as Ollie Hoskins, Pat Cilliers, Manasa Saulo and Lovejoy Chawatama, and will be able to give opportunities for younger players, too.”
“I’ve enjoyed my time at London Irish and know that the club is in good hands,” said Du Plessis. “I’d like to thank the squad, coaches, staff and supporters for how they made me feel welcome at Hazelwood, and while I’m looking forward to the new challenge at Glasgow I’ll remember my time at London Irish as a fantastic experience. I’d like to wish the club all the best for the future.”
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