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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 16:01 UK

London Irish sign fly-half Lamb

Ryan Lamb
Lamb will join his new team-mates in July

London Irish have signed fly-half Ryan Lamb on a two-year deal, following his release by Gloucester.

The 23-year-old made 85 appearances for Gloucester, scoring 570 points, and has also represented England Saxons.

Exiles head coach Toby Booth told BBC Radio Berkshire: "We tried to sign him before but his situation has changed.

"I'm sure the fans will be pleased with his signing because he's a quality player and a sign that London Irish wants to compete at the top level."

Lamb said he was looking forward to working with Booth and Mike Catt.

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"I'm very excited about joining a great club like London Irish," he said.

"I'm sure the way London Irish plays the game will help me to develop my style of play and provide a chance to gain international honours."

Former England star Catt is looking forward to the chance to help bring out the best in the mercurial playmaker, who will link up with England scrum-half Paul Hodgson.

"Ryan Lamb is a massively talented guy. Unfortunately at Gloucester he hasn't been able to express his ability on the pitch," said player-coach Catt.

"The way we play at London Irish he will have the ability to come out and express and do what he wants.

"Ryan Lamb is only 23-years-old. He has had a lot of pressure on his shoulders over the last three or four years. Everyone expected him to be the next England 10, to take Gloucester to the top and he hasn't really had anybody to learn from.

Ryan Lamb and Paul Hodgson are the future of the club at nine and 10

Exiles player-coach Mike Catt

"He is coming in under myself and (fellow new signing) Chris Malone. He has got a relationship with Toby Booth from the England Saxons.

"It is really about letting him go out, play and express his ability. His skill set is absolutely brilliant and we haven't seen enough of him.

"Ryan Lamb and Paul Hodgson are the future of the club at nine and 10."

Lamb, who was born and bred in Gloucester, has had off-field troubles and fell out of favour with Cherry and Whites coach Dean Ryan, but Booth is confident he can help the fly-half flourish.

"Sometimes you have to break out of your comfort zone and leave familiar surroundings if you are going to progress your career," said Booth.

"Ryan and Paul Hodgson were room-mates on the Churchill Cup. It is important to know what character you are getting as well as what kind of rugby player.

"Paul was influential in Ryan coming here in terms of his character reference. It has been bandied around there have been a few fracas etc. Everyone makes a mistake on occasion.

"Maybe the fact he is a local boy and he is locally known - maybe moving him into a different environment will suit him."



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see also
Romanian prop Ion signs for Irish
11 May 09 |  London Irish
Lennard joins Exiles from Knights
06 May 09 |  London Irish
Irish can overcome Tigers - Hewat
11 May 09 |  London Irish
Gloucester release Allen and Lamb
01 May 09 |  Gloucester
Rugby player punched fan in face
09 Mar 09 |  Gloucestershire
Lamb set for switch to scrum-half
02 Feb 09 |  Gloucester


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