Matt Symons: Wasps sign ex-Waikato Chiefs lock forward from London Irish

London Irish lock forward Matt Symons
Matt Symons captained London Irish for a period during their Premiership relegation season

Wasps have signed lock forward Matt Symons from relegated London Irish.

The 26-year-old signed for Irish from Waikato Chiefs in March 2015, when he returned to England following three years in New Zealand.

He made 20 Premiership appearances last season, several of them as captain, as the Reading-based Exiles went down to the Championship.

He adds to Wasps' second row options after the exit of Wales international Bradley Davies to Ospreys.

Had Irish stayed up, Symons was lined up to play alongside younger brother Andy, who had agreed a move from Worcester.

But following the Exiles' relegation, he opted instead to sign for Gloucester.

Symons began his career in the youth system at Saracens, making his first team breakthrough with Esher before he headed down under in 2012.

Wasps' pre-season signings

He is the ninth signing made by Wasps for the 2016-17 season, five of them in the pack.

Symons is the second lock recruited following the arrival of Cornish Pirates' Marcus Garratt, and they have also signed hookers Tommy Taylor (Sale) and Tom Woolstencroft (Bath), plusd Leinster prop Marty Moore.

In the backs, they have signed Australian full-back Kurtley Beale, Sale and England stand-off Danny Cipriani, Bristol scrum-half Craig Hampson and London Welsh centre Guy Armitage.

But Beale is expected to miss the start of the Premiership season on the first weekend in September as he recovers from a torn knee tendon.

Next season's Premiership fixtures will be released next week (Thursday 7 July), while the qualifying groups for the two European competitions are scheduled to be announced on Wednesday.

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