London Irish have signed the talented Australian forward, Tom Alexander, on a one-year deal.
Alexander, 24, who is the younger brother of ACT Brumbies and Australia prop Ben, can play in the back row and second row and it is this versatility that attracted the attention from London Irish.
He played for Eastwood in the Sydney domestic rugby competition and has been one of the notable performers for the club over the last couple of seasons. Alexander was also a member of the ACT Brumbies programme last season.
Commenting on his decision to sign for London Irish, Alexander said: "I am looking forward to joining up with London Irish and playing rugby in the northern hemisphere. The brand of rugby played in Europe has always been very physical and confrontational which will suit my style of play. I have enjoyed my time at Eastwood but the chance to play for a side like London Irish was too good to miss."
London Irish head coach, Toby Booth,said: "Tom gives us another option to our forward pack which is important to have during a long, demanding season. He is an athletic, skilful player with a great deal of strength so he will offer a lot of options." London Irish open their Heineken Cup campaign with a home game in Pool 2 against Edinburgh on Saturday, 12 November.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.