NEW London Irish signing Lasha Lomidze is relishing the competition for places he believes can help Exiles compete in the Aviva Premiership.

The 24-year-old Georgian international back row is one of 10 players to have joined an already powerful Irish squad, but he believes it will prove beneficial.

Lomidze will compete with the likes of Scotland international Blair Cowan, Irish’s player of the year Mike Coman, Samoan Ofisa Treviranus and fellow summer signing Jake Schatz for a place in the starting line-up.

And he said: “There will be a lot of competition for places, which will be a very good thing for the club.

“It will undoubtedly be a tough pre-season and I’m looking forward to it.

“I feel I can bring aggression and a direct running game to the pack. I’ve been really impressed with the number of high profile signings that the club has made in the off season.”

He added that his experience of playing in the 2015 World Cup proved crucial in helping him want to compete at the top level.

Lomidze said: “I’ve always had ambitions to play rugby at the highest level in England and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join London Irish.

“Everyone who knows their rugby is aware of the history and tradition associated with London Irish and this excites me.

“I’m moving to the UK alone and it will be a big challenge for me both on and off the field, but it is a challenge that is the right one for me at this stage in my life.

“It will be a very new culture for me and I’m getting ready for the big move.”

Lomidze will join up with his new teammates in three weeks’ time due to his international commitments this summer.

  • LONDON Irish will discover their Aviva Premiership fixture list tomorrow (Friday).

Hosted at the BT Tower in Central London, Exiles’ Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy will be attendance as Irish find out who they will host on the opening day – Saturday, September 2 – at Twickenham, as part of the London Double Header.

The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s fixtures – to be held at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens on July 28-29 – will also be released tomorrow.