England flanker Tom Pearson completes his move to Premiership rival after London Irish collapse - Ruck

England flanker Tom Pearson completes his move to Premiership rival after London Irish collapse

Northampton Saints today confirms the signing of former London Irish back row Tom Pearson.

The 23-year-old was left without a club side last week when the Exiles were placed into administration and suspended from the Gallagher Premiership, but now joins the men in Black, Green and Gold ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

Pearson initially joined London Irish’s Academy set-up following a stint at Cardiff Metropolitan University – where he made 28 BUCS Super Rugby appearances, 14 Welsh Championship appearances, and was named in the BUCS Super Rugby Team of the Year.

The 6’3”, 114kg back row arrived at the Exiles ahead of the 2021/22 season, and went on to make 39 appearances in his first two years of professional rugby, scoring ten tries.

He scooped London Irish’s Young Player of the Year award after his debut campaign, but began to really capture the headlines in 2022/23, with a season’s worth of standout performances seeing him named as the Premiership’s Breakthrough Player of the Season and the RPA’s Young Player of the Season.


“From my very first conversation with Phil Dowson, he’s been extremely honest and clear on the direction he wants Saints to go as a Club,” said Pearson. “He really made me feel like I would fit in well in Northampton with the playing group and the style of rugby the team plays.

“He’s also got clear ideas on where my game can improve, and I want to push on and develop as much as I can as a player.

“Saints have an ambitious and young squad, who want to play at the very highest level – so it’s a really exciting prospect to join the Club, try to make an impact on the pitch, and look to win trophies in the not-too-distant future.”Tom Pearson

“Northampton is a massive rugby town and Saints are blessed with a huge fanbase. It’s the best pitch to play on and the stadium has one of the best atmospheres in the Premiership, so I’m really looking forward to that side of it, but I also have some family based in Northamptonshire so it’s already a home away from home for me.

“I’ll always be incredibly grateful to London Irish and treasure my time there. They gave me a shot two years ago coming out of university, when I was an unknown and probably a bit of a risk. It’s tragic to not know the true potential of that team we had, but I want to thank all the players, staff, and the fans for everything they gave me over the last two years and for helping me create lifelong memories.”

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.