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Leicester Tigers sign Cokanasiga from London Irish

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

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Leicester Tigers have signed Phil Cokanasiga who will leave the London Irish following the conclusion of the 2021/22 season, both clubs have confirmed.

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The 6ft, 97kg Cokanasiga is capable of playing at inside or outside centre, as well as in the outside-backs and has previously represented England at Under-18 and Under-20 levels.

Cokanasiga, who came via the Exiles’ academy, has made 17 appearances for London Irish and scored six tries.

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Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Phil is a talented young player with incredible potential for growth in his game and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Leicester Tigers.

“He is a player who possesses great power, speed and excellent footwork.

“He is still very early on in his rugby journey and, most pleasingly, is eager to continue to develop and learn as a player while contributing to what we are building at the club.”

London Irish bid him farewell on their website.

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“Phil has always represented himself and the Club with distinction during his time here,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby. “We wish him well with his future.”

The younger brother of Bath’s winger Joe Cokanasiga said: “I want to thank all the staff and players for helping me with my rugby journey so far,” said Cokanasiga. London Irish was my first professional club, and it will always hold a place close to my heart.”

London Irish have also released back row Olly Cracknell.

Cracknell, who joined the Exiles from the Ospreys in November as injury cover for Ben Donnell, has appeared in 16 games for London Irish and scored four tries.

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“We thank Olly for his contributions since his arrival earlier in the season and wish him well for the future,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby. “He has been a great professional for the Club, both on and off the field.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at London Irish and will always think back on my time here with fond memories,” said Cracknell. “When I first joined Irish, I was searching for more game time. The coaches trusted me and allowed for that to happen, so I will always be grateful.”

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