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.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship