"Former London Rival" Harlequins Sign Ex-Irish Prop Lovejoy Chawatama - Ruck

“Former London Rival” Harlequins Sign Ex-Irish Prop Lovejoy Chawatama

Harlequins have confirmed the signing of former London Irish prop Lovejoy Chawatama. One of the most explosive front rowers in the Premiership, Chawatama signs for his former West London rivals ahead of the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season.

Chawatama becomes the latest former Exile to confirm their future plans, after London Irish entered financial administration at the end of the 2022/23 Premiership season. The 30-year-old follows on from Rory Jennings’ new deal with Newcastle Falcons, for a busy day in the Premiership transfer window.

Lovejoy Chawatama of London Irish during the Premiership Rugby Cup Semi Final match between London Irish and Gloucester Rugby at The Gtech Community Stadium, London on 10 February 2022 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

The tight-head prop played 18 times for London Irish in the Gallagher Premiership last season, achieving 15 appearances in 2020/21 and 13 in 2019/20. He made his 50th appearance for the Exiles during the 2020/21 season.

Born in Zimbabwe, Chawatama started his rugby career as a back-row before moving up the pack to the prop. He has previously gained international recognition with England Students and enjoyed stints with Clifton RFC, London Scottish and London Welsh.

Commenting on his move to Quins, Chawatama said to the Harlequins website: “London Irish will always have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful for the six years I spent at the club, and will forever cherish the memories made with players, staff, and fans. I am excited for this next chapter with Harlequins, a fantastic Club with exceptional talent on and off the pitch. I look forward to getting stuck into preseason.”

Lovejoy Chawatama of London Irish takes selfies with the crowd after the Gallagher Premiership rugby match between London Irish and Exeter Chiefs at The Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford, London on May 18 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Director of Rugby Billy Millard added: “We’ve been saddened by the London Irish situation and our thoughts remain with all players, staff and supporters. It’s been a difficult few weeks but we’re pleased to support Lovejoy and provide him with an opportunity to remain in the Premiership. He’s a hard-working prop who strengthens our front-row and adds excellent experience to our squad. We’re excited by the impact he will make at Quins.”