Premiership: London Irish lock in star Ben Loader while Simon Kerrod re-signs with Harlequins

London Irish have announced that explosive winger Ben Loader has signed a contract extension with the club, while prop Simon Kerrod has re-signed with Harlequins.

The Exiles have locked in form flyer Ben Loader for next season, which will be his eighth season with the senior team.

‘Right decision’

Loader has established himself as a regular starter for the side and has racked up 36 tries in his 85 appearances. 

The former England u20 international helped the Exiles reclaim their Premiership status in 2018/19 and has been in impressive form this season, leading the Champions Cup in defenders beaten.

“I know that over recent years the club is moving in the right trajectory, including now playing in the Heineken Champions Cup; a lot of hard work has gone into that,” Loader said on the news of his extension.

“I’m now prepared to be part of the next stages of work with the club; I want to embrace the challenges that are ahead of us now, individually and collectively, as part of this special squad

“I love this club and everything it has done for me and my family, so staying with London Irish is the right decision.”

Best years ahead

London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney says that Loader’s best years are ahead of him and that the supporters and teammates will welcome his re-signing.

“We’re delighted to have Ben on board with us going forward at London Irish. His contribution to the team, on and off the pitch, is growing season by season – with his best years ahead of him,” Kidney said.

“As well as being a fantastic player, Ben is a very popular figure both at Hazelwood and amongst our supporter base, so we know that securing his services long-term will prove very popular.”

Simon Kerrod re-signs with Quins

Versatile prop Kerrod has extended his stay at Harlequins, having joined the club from Worcester Warriors in 2019.

The news is a boost for the side, who are set to lose Wilco Louw to the Bulls at the end of the season. 

Kerrod is qualified for England and received a call-up under Eddie Jones in 2020 but is yet to make his Test debut.

Commenting on Kerrod’s re-signing, scrum and transition coach Adam Jones said: “Simon has proven himself as a top-class prop and remains an integral part of our front row contingent. He’s brought great experience to the group over the last few years and has proved himself as a highly effective scrummager on either side of the scrum.

“We’re thrilled to have him recommit to Quins and look forward to continuing to work with him.”

‘Special environment’

Upon his re-signing, Kerrod said that he is loving his time at Quins and aims to win more silverware with the side.

“I am loving my time at Harlequins. It is a special environment with a great bunch of people who genuinely care for each other. It’s the best team culture I’ve been part of because it’s genuine and comes from within the group. 

“My family and I are looking forward to the next few years at Quins and bringing some more silverware to The Stoop.”

The two London clubs are back in action in the Champions Cup on Sunday, with London Irish hosting the Stormers, while Harlequins are away to Racing 92.

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