Bristol Bears have completed the signing of Benhard Janse van Rensburg, who has become the fourth former London Irish player to find a new club. 

The South African, who is predominantly a centre but can also play at fly-half, was a key player for the Exiles over the previous two seasons, scoring 11 tries in 42 Premiership games as the west Londoners narrowly missed out on the play-offs last term. 

The news about Janse van Rensburg follows hot on the heels of the signings of Tom Pearson, Chunya Munga and Tarek Haffar, who have all recently joined Northampton Saints following Irish's abrupt collapse after entering administration.

After putting pen to paper at Ashton Gate, Janse van Rensburg, whose length of contract is undisclosed, said: "I'm excited to be at Bristol Bears. It's been a tough couple of weeks for me, but I'm pleased to be here in Bristol and can't wait to get started with the Bears.  


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"The facilities here are incredible and I'm looking forward to meeting my new team-mates when pre-season starts on Monday. I'm ambitious to grow my game and help the team in any way that I can."

Director of rugby Pat Lam was effusive in his praise of the 26-year-old.

"Benhard has been one of the outstanding centres in the Gallagher Premiership over the past two seasons, so we're pleased to be able to bring a player of his quality to the Bears.

"I believe Benhard will add real quality to our squad on and off the field. His experience, versatility and well-rounded skill set on both sides of the ball will make him a superb addition to our team. We're pleased to welcome Benhard and his wife Eljone to the Bears family."

Bristol came top of the regular-season standings in the English top flight in 2020/21, but the West Country outfit have finished 10th and ninth respectively in the two most recent campaigns. 

However, the Bears will compete in the Champions Cup in 2023/24, taking Irish's place.