Hape confirms Exiles switch
February 22, 2011
Shontayne Hape will leave Bath at the end of the season © Getty Images
England centre Shontayne Hape has ended speculation about his future by signing a two-year contract with Aviva Premiership club London Irish.
The former New Zealand rugby league international will join the Exiles from Bath at the end of this season.
Hape, 29, has won eight England caps to date after qualifying on residency, having switched codes from Super League side Bradford Bulls in 2008.
He will now join Scotland international Joe Ansbro in bolstering an Irish midfield that will be shorn of the influential Seilala Mapusua at the end of the season.
"Shontayne is a player I have been very impressed with since his move to rugby union," Irish boss Toby Booth said. "He is physically very intimidating and his ability to offload out of the tackle will trouble any defence.
"We have a lot of young talent coming through the club and the experience that Shontayne brings will also help them to develop further."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column