Declan Danaher has signed a two year contract extension taking his time with the Exiles up to 2014.
Danaher joined the Club’s player development programme in 1999 making him the Exiles’ longest serving player and he has been a key part of the club’s transformation both on and off the field.
After an initial flirtation with soccer (he had a trial for Queen’s Park Rangers) and Gaelic football, rugby provided the perfect outlet for his considerable athletic skills.
Danaher is well established as one of the most effective and respected back row players in European rugby having made 240 appearances and scoring 21 tries. He was London Irish’s Young Player of the Season in 2000/01 and 2001/02. He has represented Ireland at U19 level, Irish Exiles at U19 and U21 level , England at U21 level and England A. He has also played for the Barbarians.
The combination of his long service and an Irish background (his mother is from Limerick and his father from Kerry) gives Declan a very special status at the club and he is well established as a firm favourite among London Irish supporters.
In 2009 in the European Challenge Cup match away to Rovigo, he became only the fifth player to make 200 appearances for London Irish. In doing so he joined the distinguished quartet of Justin Bishop, Neal Hatley, Ryan Strudwick and Kieron Dawson, in reaching a double century of appearances. A tremendous feat that has since been achieved by Bob Casey, Nick Kennedy and Paul Hodgson.
Declan Danaher said: “I have only played for London Irish throughout my career and have no desire to play for any other club other than this one. I am passionate about the Exiles and feel that we have a lot of unfinished business in terms of bringing silverware back home and that’s something I want to be part of.”
Toby Booth said: “His passion for London Irish is evident every time he takes the field. A seasoned professional, Dec is a dogged, determined performer who always leads by example. He has been in great form during this campaign and will be a big part of this team moving forward over the coming seasons.”