London Irish sign Springbok prop Van der Linde

Springbok Rugby World Cup winning prop CJ Van der Linde has signed a new contract with Premiership club London Irish for the remainder of the season and will join up with the squad next week.

The tighthead prop moves from the Golden Lions, the team he represented in the 2013 Currie Cup, where they reached the semi-finals.

Educated at the famous rugby school, Grey College in Bloemfontein, he made his debut for the Springboks as a 20 year-old on 16th November 2002 in a match against Scotland at Murrayfield to earn the first of his 75 caps.

Van der Linde reached the peak of the world game in 2007 when he started South Africa’s successful Rugby World Cup final against England.

Standing 1.90m and weighing 122kgs, the imposing prop forward has represented Free State Cheetahs, the Cats and Stormers at Super Rugby level, before he moved to Europe for a spell with Leinster in the 2009/10 season. He returned to South Africa to play for Western Province and the Stormers before moving to the Golden Lions.

London Irish Director of Rugby, Brian Smith said: “CJ is a 70 plus cap Springbok and has been brought in to replace Halani Aulika as a starting tighthead. He’s a world class scrummager and will bring a lot of experience and composure to our pack, particularly at scrum time.

“His arrival is timely as we look to re-establish ourselves as a dominant scrum in the Premiership. I know Glenn Delaney and Phil Keith-Roach are keen to work with a World Cup winning tighthead.”

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