LONDON Irish have signed highly-rated Harlequins forward Sam Twomey for the upcoming Championship season.

The 26-year-old has spent all of his professional career with Quins, making more than 50 appearance in their famous quartered shirts.

But the powerful, 6ft 6ins lock has been a big Exiles supporter all his life and when he was younger he held a London Irish season ticket at Madejski Stadium for six years.

“I’m delighted to have joined London Irish, a club that I supported as a boy,” said Twomey.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing for this ambitious club and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Twomey is an ex-England Under 20 international who featured in the 2011 World Rugby Under 20 Championship final.

And London Irish director of rugby, Declan Kidney, is confident Twomey will excel in an Exiles shirt as the club seek an immediate return to the Premiership.

“We’re bringing in a very good player,” said Kidney. “Sam has plenty of experience in the Premiership and at international age group level, and at his age he has a lot of good years ahead of him.

“We believe he will strengthen our squad for a competition which always asks a lot of players.”