Bristol Bears complete the signing of powerhouse centre from London Irish - Ruck

Bristol Bears complete the signing of powerhouse centre from London Irish

Bristol Bears have signed former London Irish centre Benhard Janse van Rensburg.

The 26-year-old versatile South African midfielder, who can operate at inside and outside centre and also cover fly-half, will join up with Pat Lam’s squad when they return for pre-season training on Monday, June 19th.

Van Rensburg made more than 50 appearances for the Exiles over two seasons, scoring 11 Premiership tries. During the 2022/23 season, the former Free State Cheetah made six tries assists and beat 33 defenders.

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, said: “Benhard has been one of the outstanding centres in the Gallagher Premiership over the past two seasons so we’re pleased to be able to bring a player of his quality to the Bears.

“I believe Benhard will add real quality to our squad on and off the field. His experience, versatility and well-rounded skill set on both sides of the ball will make him a superb addition to our team. We’re pleased to welcome Benhard and his wife Eljoné to the Bears family.”

Van Rensburg added: “I’m excited to be at Bristol Bears. It’s been a tough couple of weeks for me, but I’m pleased to be here in Bristol and can’t wait to get started with the Bears.

“The facilities here are incredible and I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates when pre-season starts on Monday. I’m ambitious to grow my game and help the team in any way that I can.”

Arundell heads to Racing 92:

is reported to have agreed a deal with Racing 92.


The back-three flyer is a free agent following the collapse of London Irish, with the Parisian club fastest to secure the speedster’s signature.

According to a report in French sports news outlet L’Equipe Arundell’s move to Racing 92 is a “done deal”.

The 20-year-old was also previously linked with a move to Bath and Bristol Bears, yet Arundell seems to have decided to pursue the Top 14 over a return to the Gallagher Premiership.

If the move is confirmed, Arundell will become the latest English talent to make the move to France, and join the likes of Sam Simmonds, Jack Nowell and Jack Willis in the Top 14. Arundell made his England breakthrough as an ‘apprentice player’ in 2022, and has since made seven caps for his country.

The RFU selection saga regarding overseas based England players is yet to reach a definite conclusion, yet Arundell may be putting his future in Steve Borthwick’s side in jeopardy should he complete the move to Racing 92.

Regarded as one of the Premiership’s brightest young talents, Arundell made his breakthrough into the rugby landscape in the 2021/22 season. Arundell went viral after he scored a breath-taking solo try against Toulon in the Challenge Cup, running in a staggering effort from his own try-line.

The arrival of Arundell comes at an opportune time for the Parisian club, with the expected departure of South African star Warrick Gelant to the Stormers. The ex-London Irish fullback becomes the tenth reported signing for Racing 92, who have bolstered the ranks with the likes of Springboks Captain Siya Kolisi, Wales’ lock Will Rowlands, and Fiji’s ‘Human Bulldozer’ Josua Tuisova.

Bordeaux: Adam Coleman

The Wallabies lock, who initially joined the club in 2019, has reached an agreement to join Bordeaux, a Top 14 club.

Stormers: Ben Loader

Sources have indicated that the winger will join the Stormers in South Africa on a two-year deal after impressing against the Cape Town franchise in the Champions Cup

who initially joined the club in 2019, has reached an agreement to join Bordeaux, a Top 14 club.

Saracens: Ollie Hoskins

Australian prop Ollie Hoskins joined London Irish from Western Force in the build up to the 2016/17 season.

Hoskins played 24 times for Irish during the 2016/17 season, including an outing in the Championship Play-off Final.

Following a string of great performances in the 2017/18 Aviva Premiership campaign, Hoskins has continued to show his importance to the Irish squad.

His consistently high standard of performances in a London Irish shirt led to Ollie becoming a London Irish centurion, passing the 100-appearance mark for the Club in the 2020/21 season.

In the 2021/22 season, Hoskins played in 25 of Irish’s games across three competitions, opening the season with a brace away to Worcester Warriors and then scoring in an important win over Edinburgh Rugby in the EPCR Challenge Cup pool stages.

He had the 18th most attacking ruck arrivals in the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership (351) and joint 25th most carries (159), ranking him in the top five and top three amongst props in the division respectively.


The proud Australian earned his first cap for his country in the 2021 autumn internationals when the Wallabies visited Twickenham Stadium.

Hoskins signed a contract extension with the club in the offseason preceding the 2022/23 season and is on course to surpass 150 appearances in the following campaign. 

More players leaving London Irish on page two.