European Professional Club Rugby | South African stars of the Champions Cup: the London Irish

While the 2022/2023 European Cup campaign will feature three South African clubs, we are now focusing on South African players represented at other Champions Cup clubs, with today a focus on the squad of London Irish.

mike willemse

Although the 29-year-old hooker joined the Gallagher Premiership club last year from Edinburgh Rugby, he is yet to feature in the EPCR competition with the Irish. However, the South African U20 international was a regular in the EPCR Challenge Cup, with the Scottish club, in 2019/2020 and made two Champions Cup appearances in 2020/2021. Willemse joined Edinburgh after a stint with the Southern Kings in 2019. He previously played for the DHL Stormers and the Kings in South Africa.

Benhard Janse van Rensburg

Van Rensburg helped London Irish reach the Challenge Cup quarter-finals last season, in his first campaign with the Gallagher Premiership club. He scored a total of seven points in five appearances. The 25-year-old – who can play as a fly-half, centre-half or full-back – joined the Irish ahead of the 2021/22 season, from Japanese club NEC Green Rockets. The South African U20 international previously played for the Toyota Cheetahs in PRO14, after different experiences with the Free State Cheetahs, Southern Kings, Natal Sharks, Cell C Sharks and Leopards.

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