Wasps can today confirm that English-qualified second row Matt Symons will join the club ahead of the 2016/17 season, from London Irish.
Born in England, Symons moved to New Zealand in 2012 where he quickly rose through the ranks with the Chiefs, named as their pre-season captain and vice-captain for the 2015 Super Rugby campaign.
After two seasons in the Chiefs’ first team, Symons returned to the UK last season to join London Irish, where he impressed in his 20 games, frequently captaining the side and being voted ‘Player of the Season.’
Symons will join a very competitive group of second rows at Wasps next season with the likes of Joe Launchbury, James Gaskell, Kearnan Myall, James Cannon and Will Rowlands already at the club next season, with Bradley Davies returning to Wales.
Matt Symons is the ninth new signing ahead of the 2016/17 season, with Kurtley Beale, Tommy Taylor, Danny Cipriani, Marty Moore, Guy Armitage, Craig Hampson, Tom Woolstencroft and Marcus Garratt already announced.
On his signing, Matt Symons said: "I have really enjoyed my time at London Irish and am very grateful for the opportunity of playing this season. There are some outstanding players and people at the club and I am sure they will be back in the Premiership in 2017.
“Wasps is a club that has played an exciting style and successful style of rugby this season. After speaking with Dai, I was very excited at the direction the team is headed in and look forward to joining up with them in the summer."
Director of Rugby Dai Young added: "Matt is a very talented player and we’re really pleased to have him join the squad ahead of next season. We have taken a keen interest in him since his rise with the Chiefs in New Zealand and his physicality and lineout authority have impressed once again with London Irish this season, where he has been their stand-out player.
"We have a number of very talented second rows at the club. Matt will add a great deal to that group as we continue to strive for improvement and we’re looking forward to having him on board next season."
Head of Rugby Operations at London Irish, Glenn Delaney said: "We are disappointed that Matt has decided to leave the club and pursue other playing opportunities. He has been a consistent performer for us and we wish him well for the future."