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Cracknell becomes fifth player to recently sign for London Irish

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

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The recent recruitment drive by London Irish continued on Tuesday with 27-year-old back-rower Olly Cracknell joining from Ospreys, the Welsh region he signed for in 2014. It was October 6 when the Premiership club announced the double signing of winger Cillian Redmond and tighthead Ciaran Parker.

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They then added Argentine pair, back-rower Juan Martin Gonzalez Samso and winger Lucio Cinti Luna, in recent weeks and now Cracknell becomes the latest player snapped up by the English top-flight club.  

After making an Ospreys debut in 2015, Cracknell went on to make over 100 appearances for the Welsh outfit. He has previously represented Wales at U20s and was called up to the Welsh squad for the 2017 Six Nations.

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Cracknell said: “I’m really pleased to be joining London Irish. It’s a great opportunity for me at a key period in my career. I have heard good things about the squad here and I’m looking forward to playing my part over the coming weeks and months.”

Irish boss Declan Kidney added: “We are pleased Olly has agreed to join us. He is a strong player who will add to the current options we have in the back row. We are looking forward to him joining the group and being part of our squad.”

Cracknell becomes the second back-rower to join the Irish since they confirmed on August 13 that the long-serving Blair Cowan had his surprise request to end his contract early granted so that he could pursue a new challenge in Japan.

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“When Blair wasn’t going to be available through the season we went looking for the back rows that were available and it is a difficult time to recruit,” said Kidney in recent weeks when explaining the signing of Argentine back-rower Gonzalez Samso at a time when they also coincidentally lost Ben Donnell to injury. “That was always an opening that was created by Blair’s departure.”

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