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Chiefs sign trio from Wasps



By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter believes he has picked up three of the brightest young talents in the English game following the confirmation of Wasps slipping into administration.

Having already secured the services of hooker Dan Frost last month, Baxter has swooped to seal the signings of Academy youngsters Alfie Bell, Greg Fisilau and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

Lock Bell, who hails from Nuneaton, is an England Under-20s international and stands at a whopping 6ft 8in tall and tips the scales at 118kg.

Back-row forward Fisilau was born in Plymouth and is the son of former Albion and Tonga centre, Keni Fisilau. Like Bell, he too is an England Under-20s international, standing at 6ft 2in tall and 109kg.

Feyi-Waboso, meanwhile, was born in Cardiff and came through Cardiff’s Academy before he transferred to Aston University in Birmingham and was then picked up by Wasps. A lightning-quick back, who can play in the centre or on the wing, he has previously featured for Wales at Under-18 level, as well as being part of their Under-20s squad.

The talented trio, all aged 19, have all been added to the Chiefs squad this week and Baxter is looking forward to them playing an exciting part in the future of the Devon club.

“Once things started happening as it did at Worcester and Wasps, the players we actually started looking at first were the young guys for obvious reasons,” said Baxter. “I’ve made it clear a few times now, I want to find guys who have not won anything and I want to find that next group whose sole focus is winning.

“I want a group that enjoy being on a journey that takes them to winning Premiership titles, winning European Cups or becoming international players. I don’t mind saying it, Wasps have a very talented group of players there – they have done fantastically well bringing them through to where they are now – and for me, it was the most exciting thing about looking at the players becoming available.

“Manny has played in their Premiership Cup games on the wing and done very well. He’s a bit like Tom O’Flaherty in that he was playing in Wales, but then transferred to Aston University and got picked up by Wasps. Already he looks to me as though he’s going very well, he looks good in training and that he could easily be thrown into a match-day 23 at any stage.

“With both Greg and Alfie, they are both within the England Under-20s set-up. When I spoke to Greg, I said tell me about your rugby story and he said he spent a lot of time as a youngster down in Plymouth where his dad was playing at the time. In a different scenario, he could easily have come through our academy system had he spent longer down here.

“He’s another who has played in the Premiership Cup, he’s had time playing in the Championship, and he looks to be on that pathway, similar to Sam Simmonds when he was in the Championship, that really excites me. With Sam moving on at the end of the season, he may well take on that mantel of being that explosive, ball-carrying, all-action No.8 for the future.

“And Alfie, he’s a big guy, another who has had that bit of experience playing in the Championship, so we’re very excited at what all of them will bring. What I like already is that all of them are willing to work and want to improve. That’s a great trait to have and I’m seeing it in abundance from all three of them.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby


Springbok World Cup winner to join Bath Rugby



Bath Rugby can confirm the signing of Rugby World Cup-winning international tighthead prop Thomas du Toit.

The physically menacing front row, who featured in the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning campaign in Japan, will join the Blue, Black and White after the 2023 Rugby World Cup along with British & Irish Lion and Scotland fly-half Finn Russell.  

A devastating force in the scrum, du Toit provides another strong ball carrying option for the club following on from the recruitment of Alfie Barbeary, Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence.

He has featured 15 times for the Springboks to date and also has the ability to play loosehead prop, as shown during his time at The Sharks. 

Head of Rugby Johann van Graan said: “Thomas is a winner. He has experience of winning at the highest level, having reached the pinnacle of world rugby with the Springboks. 

“He is a world-class operator at scrum time. There are not many players in the world who can play on both sides of the scrum to an international standard, maintain control and have destructive power. He is another player we have added to our squad who also possesses fantastic carrying ability to get his side over the gainline.

“Thomas is a fantastic leader having been captain of The Sharks and South Africa A and we are delighted he has chosen Bath to continue his rugby journey.”

Hailing from Paarl Boys’ High, du Toit was a roaring presence as a ball-carrier and a scrummager in his teens, earning South Africa Schools caps in 2013. 

A year later he moved from Western Province to The Sharks in what proved to be a mammoth year as he represented his country at the Under-20 Junior World Championship, finishing as a runner-up, before earning his first Super Rugby caps.

Since then, the behemoth prop has developed into a world-class operator, playing for the Springboks during their 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning campaign, just a year after his international debut against Wales. He has also grown into a leader which has seen him captain The Sharks and South Africa ‘A’.

Du Toit, who is a Sharks centurion and is also capped by the Barbarians, has experience of playing outside of South Africa, joining Munster for a brief stint in 2016.

The 27-year-old said: “When I spoke to Johann and heard his vision for Bath, I was excited and knew it was the place I wanted to be. 

“I want to challenge myself and develop my game in an environment which has a desire to progress and achieve.

“Everyone talks about how iconic a place The Rec is to play at and I’ve heard that supporters pack it out every time which is special. I can’t wait to meet everyone and contribute to the club’s future success.”


It’s time to ‘Come together for Bath’ as the renewal window for 2023/24 season is open. Now is your opportunity to purchase at our lowest price in the earlybird window, saving you up to 30% compared to buying on a match-by-match basis!

Join Thomas, Finn, Ollie, Alfie, Ted and more at The Rec next season!



Content & Images from – Bath Rugby

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Skosan to leave Saints at the end of the season



Northampton Saints can today confirm that Courtnall Skosan will leave the Club at the end of the 2022/23 season. The winger – who has scored 19 tries in Black, Green and Gold – departs the Club after making 37 appearances in a Saints shirt to date.“Courtnall is a very good man and I feel very strongly about him and his time at the Club,” said Saints’ Director of Rugby Phil Dowson.

“It’s fair to say Courtnall’s made a significant impact on the field too, his ability to score tries has been an incredible asset but his work rate in all the other areas of his game is just as impressive.

“He is an absolute professional and I know he will continue to give his all as we fight for a play-off place, after that Courtnall will leave with our very best wishes.”

Joining Saints from South African side Lions, Skosan arrived in Northampton with 12 Springbok caps to his name, as well as over 100 appearances across the Super Rugby and Currie Cup competitions with the Lions.

The winger also played for South Africa at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in 2011, and South Africa ‘A’ in 2016, before his full international debut for the Springboks in 2017. 

And Skosan hit the ground running after touching down in Northampton – with the 31-year-old scoring an impressive hat-trick of tries on debut against Worcester Warriors in 2021 before adding a further ten tries in his first term.

The former Springbok has made 16 appearances so far this season and having added a further six tries to his tally already, is determined to end this term positively.

Skosan said: “Thank you to Saints’ management, players, and staff for the last two seasons. And to the fans – thank you for the support. You really are a force to be reckoned with, there’s no better feeling than to play in front of a packed Franklin’s Gardens. 

“For now, though, I’m looking forward to finishing this season off on a high. God bless.”

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby

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Gloucester Rugby sign Cardiff star



Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of centre Max Llewellyn, who will arrive at Kingsholm this summer ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Llewellyn, who qualifies for both Wales and England, moves to the Cherry & Whites from United Rugby Championship side Cardiff Rugby, where he has made 40 appearances, scoring five tries.

The 24-year-old also spent time with Cardiff RFC in the Welsh Premiership and represented Wales U20s 14 times between 2018 and 2019.

At 6’5’’ and 105kg, Llewellyn brings a significant physical presence into Gloucester’s midfield options.

Max comes from impressive rugby stock, his father, Gareth Llewellyn, having won 92 caps for Wales.

Gloucester Rugby Head Coach, George Skivington, says the young centre is a welcome addition to the squad.

“Max is a young player that has a huge amount of potential and we’re excited about him seeing him in Cherry & White. He’s been really impressive for Cardiff over the last couple of seasons and we know he’s relishing the prospect of challenging himself in the Gallagher Premiership.

“He’s obviously a big lad and he enjoys that physical side of the game but that’s not the only string to his bow.

“Max will have some experienced Premiership backs to learn from here in addition to the coaching staff, so he’s in a great place to develop, and we’re looking forward to seeing him in Cherry & White.”

“I’m really excited to be coming to Gloucester” commented Llewellyn.

“It’s always been an ambition of mine to play in the Premiership and to do that for a club like Gloucester, it’s something I’m really looking forward to.

“I was fortunate enough to play at Kingsholm in pre-season and the atmosphere there was amazing; it’s somewhere you look forward to playing every week.”

Max is in for 2023/24, are you? Get your 2023/24 Club Membership before 5pm today (Monday 20 March) HERE to secure your early bird discount.

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby

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