Harlequins have signed scrum-half Scott Steele, one of the eleven players released by London Irish last month after their contracts at the Gallagher Premiership club expired. The 26-year-old, who twice helped Irish win promotion from the Championship, will play the remainder of the 2019/20 top-flight season with Quins and stay at the club for the 2020/21 season.  

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With 115 points to his name throughout a 127-game career for the Exiles, Harlequins are hoping Steele will add considerable experience and dynamism to an already busy scrum-half department containing respective England and Argentina internationals Danny Care and Martin Landajo.

A skilled footballer, the former Leicester Tigers academy and Scotland U20 representative played rugby and football from a young age, representing Kilmarnock in professional youth football.

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Commenting on his move to The Stoop, Steele said: “I’m really excited about a new challenge after a six-year period with London Irish. I’m looking forward to working with and learning off a great variety of experienced heads and impressive young talent at the club.

“The coaching set-up at Quins is full of experience and there is huge potential for me to further develop my game here. I have spent some time at training this week and the set-up seems extremely professional. It allows the players to just come in work hard each day. I’m looking forward to getting involved and getting back to matchday action.”

Harlequins boss Paul Gustard added: “It’s exciting to have a player of Scott’s quality join the club as we head into the remainder of the current season and beyond. He has played over 100 games while with London Irish and affords us an impressive half-back department going forward with Danny and Martin already in place. 

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“With the retirement of Niall (Saunders) it was important we got someone in who could play immediately and we were delighted that Scott was in a situation to move and we were then in a position to offer him a squad spot.

“He is a proven performer at this level and is one of the more combative and competitive nines around. He is hungry and keen to continue his development and I’m sure with Nick (Evans), Sean (Long) and Charlie (Mulchrone) working within our coaching team, he will be in a great environment to do just that.”

Harlequins will open the Premiership restart, hosting Sale at The Stoop on August 14 after the season was suspended last March due to the pandemic.  

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