The Wokingham Paper

Former club captain Franco van der Merwe one of nine players to leave London Irish

Franco van der Merwe
Franco van der Merwe

Nine first-team players have departed London Irish after the expiration of their contracts, including former club captain Franco van der Merwe.

Van der Merwe made 58 appearances for the Exiles and was named as club captain at the beginning of the 2018/19 eason, but will return to his native South Africa after his stint with Irish. 

Scott Steele, who has spent six years with the club also departs having made 127 appearances for the club, including helping the Exiles to two promotions to the top flight. 

Dave Porecki, who joined in 2016, and was named as Irish’s player of the season for the 2018/19 season, leaves the club after four years of service. 

Fly-half Stepehen Myler, South African Pat Cilliers, second row Barney Maddison, hooker Saia Fainga’a, USA’s Bryce Campbell and Fiji’s Alivereti Veitokani also leave the club to complete ten outgoings from London Irish. 

London Irish director of rugby, Declan Kidney said: “I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the players that have left London Irish for their service and dedication, each having made a valuable contribution. They have all been a real pleasure to work with, and as they head into new challenges, I wish them nothing but the very best.” 

The club has confirmed that they are holding ongoing talks with several other members of the current squad and will update supporters in due course on their situations. 

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