The Wokingham Paper

Stephen Myler joins London Irish as Cokanasiga and Williams head list of departures

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Stephen Myler arrives from Northampton

LONDON IRISH have announced their first signing of the summer with Stephen Myler arriving from Northampton Saints.

The fly-half is the third highest points scorer in Premiership history with 1,697 and also won an England cap in 2013.

Myler, 33, initially started his career in rugby league and leaves Saints after 12 years having helped them win promotion from the Championship before being named man-of-the-match in the dramatic Premiership final win over Saracens in 2014.

“I’m delighted to join London Irish, a club that is steeped in history and tradition and has the ambition to be back amongst the leading clubs in the Premiership,” said Myler.

Joe Cokanasiga is leaving London Irish

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northampton Saints and I’ve made friends for life, but the time is right for me to now embark on a fresh new challenge with London Irish.

“Everything about London Irish has impressed me and I’m looking forward to joining up with my new teammates for pre-season as we look to make an immediate return to the Premiership.”

Declan Kidney, the Exiles’ technical consultant said: “Stephen is a player who possesses a vast amount of experience, which will be important for us next season.

“He’s shown throughout his time at Northampton that he has composure during the big occasions and his influence around the training ground will help the younger lads coming through the ranks.”

Myler’s arrival comes on the back of Irish announcing that a host of players will leave the club this summer.

The departures of Alex Lewington to Saracens and Ben Franks to Northampton Saints had already been confirmed, but academy products Johnny Williams and Joe Cokanasiga will also move on.

The pair only signed new contracts in the past few months but following relegation, they are set to join top flight clubs having been two of Irish’s key men in recent seasons.

Arno Botha, Piet van Zyl, Will Lloyd and 2016-17 Championship player of the season James Marshall are also among those to be moving on.

Players leaving London Irish this summer: Josh Basham, Arno Botha, Joe Cokanasiga, Darren Dawidiuk, Ben Franks, Todd Gleave, Alex Lewington, Will Lloyd, Lasha Lomidze, James Marshall, Senitiki Nayalo, David Paice, Richard Palframan, Tom Smallbone, Aseli Tikoirotuma, Johnny Williams, Tom Woolstencroft, Piet van Zyl.

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