LONDON Irish wing Alex Lewington has confirmed he will join Saracens at the end of the season.

The highly-rated 26-year-old has been the subject of widespread speculation following his excellent performances for the struggling Exiles.

And Sarries coach Mark McCall has won the battle for Lewington’s signature after a number of clubs were chasing the former Leicester Tigers back.

Lewington said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at London Irish, a club that has been a home away from home.

“I’ve met some of my best friends at London Irish and I would like to thank all of the coaches that I have worked under for the opportunities that they have given to me.

“I would also like to thank the supporters for their continued support and I’ll be doing everything I can to help the club secure its Aviva Premiership status.

“It was a really tough decision to leave, but I’m now looking forward to a new challenge in my career.”

Lewington is closing in on his 100th appearance for London Irish having joined from the Tigers in 2013.

But his departure has fuelled fears that Irish could lose more of their best players this summer should they be relegated from the Aviva Premiership.

Nick Kennedy’s men are currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the table having won just once in the league all season.

Kennedy paid tribute to Lewington saying: “Alex joined us from Leicester in 2013, having been on loan at Nottingham and his game has significantly improved during his time here.

“He came back from a serious injury last year and his nine tries in 10 appearances during the season run-in helped us win the Championship and gain promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.

“We would like to thank Alex for his service and we wish him well for the future.”

The news of Lewington’s departure this summer comes in the wake of a £3.5m takeover bid by an Irish consortium eager to secure Exiles’ long-term future.

Irish kept their European Challenge Cup hopes alive last weekend with a 47-17 home win over Russian outfit Krasny Yar.The return leg takes place in Georgia this Saturday (1pm ko).