London Irish has today announced the signing of Northampton Saints and Scotland international, Joe Ansbro, on a three-year deal. He will join the club in the summer.

Joe starts this weekend at outside centre for Scotland against France in their Six Nations encounter in Paris. In 2010 he made his international debut for Scotland, playing a full game against South Africa where he and Scotland both came out on top against the Springboks. Joe’s performance was reported as outstanding.

He has made 15 appearances for Northampton this season and is highly rated for his explosive power and ability to find space, as well as being defensively very solid.  His great adaptability on the field means that he is also comfortable playing in the centre or on the wing.

Joe joined the Northampton academy in 2006 whilst also studying for a Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge University. During his time at Cambridge he also played in the Varsity Match producing some quality displays.

Commenting on the Ansbro move, London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: “Joe hits the mark for us.  He is a very talented player with a great future ahead of him – he is quick and powerful and I believe he will fit nicely into our set up and with the style of rugby we play.  His versatility on the field makes him a valuable asset to have on board and further boosts the strength in depth that we already have.

Booth adds: “We’re an ambitious club and continuing to bring in high calibre players, such as Joe, is key to giving us the edge and helping us to achieve our goals.”

Joe Ansbro said: “Toby has a terrific coaching record at London Irish and he is someone I look forward to working with. There are some great players who have committed their long term futures to the club and that speaks volumes for what is happening there.”

Joe who has played 65 times for Northampton, scoring 18 tries added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northampton and would like to thank Jim Mallinder and all his coaching staff for what they have done for me. However it is time for a new challenge at London Irish and I am very much looking forward to it.”