London Irish’s rebuild ahead of their potential re-entry into the Premiership took a step forward this week as they secured the services of yet another international forward.
RugbyPass revealed last weekend that Irish had secured the services of Steve Mafi from Castres. The Tongan forward is set to earn in the region of £500,000 per annum as the Exiles reap the benefits of their share in the CVC investment windfall.
Capped 13 times by Scotland, the loosehead prop hails from South Africa and represented their U20s four times in 2012. The loosehead is currently ranked 11th in his position in the Six Nations by the RugbyPass Index, and 41st in the world with a score of 73.
Educated at Queens College in Eastern Cape, Dell can play on both sides of the scrum. He has made 13 senior appearances in the Vodacom and Currie Cup competitions alongside his selection for South Africa Schools and every South Africa age-grade en route to lifting the Junior World Championship trophy in 2012.
He qualified for Scotland through his grandmother, Joan Carmichael, who was born in Paisley and brought up in Edinburgh. Since making his club debut in 2014, he has made 51 appearances for Edinburgh, including last night’s triumph over Toulon, where he came off the bench.
Dell came through an injury-stricken 2017/18 where he spent much of his time rehabbing but did enough in the latter part of the campaign to ensure a place in Gregor Townsend’s Scotland Squad for the 2018 Summer Tour to Canada, USA and Argentina.
The 26-year-old was also called up to the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand as cover for the two final games against the provinces. He made one substitute appearance, becoming Lion number #834.
London Irish plan to move back to London next season with a groundshare at Brentford FC.
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