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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Exiles swoop for Bath lock Hudson
James Hudson
Hudson's opportunities have been limited at Bath
London Irish have boosted their second row with the signing of Bath lock James Hudson and a three-year contract extension for Nick Kennedy.

Hudson, 24, was hampered by limited opportunities at Bath, while Kennedy, 24, will stay at the club until 2009.

"James Hudson is a true professional and a good team player," said Exiles boss Brian Smith.

"Nick Kennedy is an exceptional talent whose recent selection for England A shows his potential at the top level."

Exiles forwards coach Toby Booth said: "Filling the shoes of Ryan Strudwick is an unenviable task but James Hudson will relish the opportunity.

"His experience with Bath will enhance our line-out capability and will be needed if we are to maintain our reputation among the Premiership's best."

I need to be at a club where if I play well I will be rewarded with more chances to play first team rugby
James Hudson

Hudson, who played 26 times for Bath, said: "I have enjoyed my time at Bath but have grown frustrated with my opportunities to play in the first team being restricted to international periods.

"I feel I need to be at a club where if I play well I will be rewarded with more chances to play first team rugby."

Kennedy, who made his first appearance for England A in the Six Nations last month, said: "The progress that I have made in my rugby career is because of the coaching and management staff at London Irish.

"I've moved from the Academy to the senior squad in only four years and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. These are exciting times for the club."


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