PROP Petrus du Plessis has left Saracens to join newly promoted Aviva Premiership outfit London Irish.
Du Plessis moved to Sarries from Nottingham in 2009 and made 158 appearances for the club, helping them to win three Premiership and two European Champions Cup crowns.
But last season saw the tight-head fall behind Juan Figallo and Vincent Koch in the pecking order to leave him short of game-time and the 35-year-old has decided that the time is right for him to take on a new challenge.
Meanwhile, Saracens have confirmed that Ireland under-20 hooker Tadgh McElroy has joined their senior academy.
McElroy, who came through the ranks with Dundalk before moving to Dublin-based Landsdown impressed for Ireland’s under-20 side during the 2017 under-20 Six Nations, starting all five games and scoring three tries.
“I am delighted to have signed for what is currently the best club team in Europe,” he said. “It will take me out of my comfort zone and challenge me 100 per cent and I have no doubt it is the best place for me to develop as a player in a winning environment with excellent coaches.”
Sarries’ academy manager Mike Hynard added: “Tadgh is a highly-rated prospect and we’re very happy that he will be joining our academy system. He’s a powerful player, a very good ball carrier and is strong at he set-piece.
“We’re looking forward to helping Tadgh settle in at Saracens and help him fulfil his potential both on and off the field.”