Edinburgh and Scotland rugby star Geoff Cross is to join London Irish next season, it was confirmed today.
The 31-year-old prop forward has signed a two-year deal ending a seven-year association with Edinburgh stretching back to when he initially joined on loan from the now-defunct Border Reivers.
In a statement issued by the Aviva Premiership side, the 28-times capped Cross, who made 130 appearances for Edinburgh and scored six tries, said: “Moving down to London Irish is a fantastic opportunity. Having met with Brian (Smith, director of rugby), discussed the vision of the club and seen the new training facility, it was clear to see the intent the club has moving forward.
“Leaving Edinburgh was a difficult decision and I will leave with many fond memories, however I am excited to be moving to Sunbury and look forward to the challenge ahead.”
The Evening News revealed earlier this month that London Irish had been in contact with Cross earlier in his career and their renewed interest came at a time when the player was not in the picture at Edinburgh albeit he was a regular in the Six Nations.
Brian Smith said: “It is great to have a player of Geoff’s talent and experience joining our squad next season. He is a genuine international tighthead who has performed exceptionally well in the recent Six Nations Championship. We will have plenty of competition in the front row next season that will only benefit the squad.”
The move will also give Cross more opportunity of regular game-time in the build-up to next year’s World Cup when the SRU have invested in qualifying the South African who kept him out at Edinburgh, Willem Nel, for Scotland on residency.
Cross is currently on loan at Glasgow.