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Exeter sign highly rated Irish centre

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Exeter Chiefs have added their second new recruit ahead of the 2021/22 season with the signing of Sean O’Brien from Connacht.

The highly-rated centre arrived in the city earlier this week and is already settling into life with the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions.

The 23-year-old’s arrival comes hot on the heels of Kiwi prop Josh Iosefa-Scott also joining the Chiefs ahead of next season – and both will use the remainder of this season to get up-to-speed and acquainted with their new team-mates.

“It’s a great new challenge for me,” said O’Brien, who has spent the past three years with the Pro14 League side. “I’ve had a great spell there, but now is the time for me to go and test myself in the Premiership.

“Exeter are a club who have been winning trophies, they play a great brand of rugby and the culture here looks great, who wouldn’t want to join them?”

Already O’Brien is settling in to his new surroundings and says the chance to get valuable input into the workings of the club ahead of pre-season will be invaluable to him.

“It’s good to get to know the place, the people, the calls, that way I can hit the ground running in pre-season,” added O’Brien, who has played for Ireland at U18s and U20s level. “Coming over here is obviously going to be a different challenge, the league looks a lot more physical and faster, plus there are more international players playing each week, but I’m looking forward to it.”

O’Brien also cites the impact new team-mate Ian Whitten has had in the growth of the Chiefs since he moved to Sandy Park in 2012.

“He’s a legend over in these parts,” he said. “He took a chance coming over here and Exeter took a chance on him, but he’s been part of this side for a long time and won trophies with the club. Hopefully, I can do the same.”

One man delighted to see the arrival of O’Brien is Chiefs’ Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, who is relishing working with the player.

“Obviously, we are always on the look out for talented, young players and recruitment is an ongoing process. Looking at our squad going forward – and the positions where you could potentially need cover – you could see potential around that midfield area for us to get a bit light.

“That said, I think Sean is one of those players who can push for a place straight away. We’ve seen quite a lot of him when he broke into the Connacht first team and he looks to me – when I code out the games – a player who has a lot of the characteristics that we look for in our players

“He’s a very good defender, deceptively quick, strong on the ball and when you break his game down, it’s actually very pleasing. He’s also in that right age range, early 20s, so he is one of those recruitment positions that kind of work all ways round for us.

“The last guy we brought from Ireland similarly was Ian Whitten and you look at how good he has been for us, the amount of games he’s played, and what an important figure he has been at the club, so there were a lot of reasons we went for a guy like Sean. He ticks a lot of boxes and I’m just really glad we can get him here early, bedded in, and starting that process of becoming an Exeter Chief.”

Source – Exeter Chiefs Rugby By Mark Stevens
3/6/21


Premiership

Baxter issues Moon injury update

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
26/1/23

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby


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Premiership

TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby

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South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 

Replacements: 

16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby


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Premiership

Rogerson pens new contract with London Irish

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London Irish is delighted to announce that Club captain Matt Rogerson has signed a new contract with the Club.

The 29-year-old has continued to be a bedrock of Irish’s back-row this year with one more try added to his total haul of 14 in five seasons as an Exile.

Rogerson recently exceeded the 100-appearance milestone as a London Irish player, making a century of appearances in a 39-17 Gallagher Premiership victory against Newcastle Falcons at the Gtech Community Stadium in December 2022.

Speaking on extending his time with London Irish, Matt Rogerson explained his decision to continue his career with the west Londoners.

“Today is a great day for me personally and for my family. I recently played in my 100th game for the Club, which was an incredibly emotional occasion, but one I will remember fondly for years to come.

“Working with such a talented pool of players every day is inspiring to me, having the opportunity to lead them alongside Rob, Paddy and Adam is a great privilege that is not lost on me.

“I can’t thank the supporters enough for embracing me in recent years, and hopefully, many more milestones are ahead for me here being part of the London Irish family.”

The skipper, in his second full season captaining the Boys in Green, signed from Jersey Reds upon conclusion of the 2017/18 season to then contribute to his new Club’s promotion bid in the following campaign.

London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney affirmed his praise of Rogerson as a “true leader” of the team.

“We are delighted to have Matt continue in our ranks going forward. Matt is the consummate professional, on and off the pitch, he sets very high standards for himself and leads by example, always giving 100% to the team and squad, be it in a match, training or off pitch duties.

“As a true leader through these last few years, he has and continues to be an example that all other players and staff can look up to. We would like to thank Matt and his family for his continued commitment to London Irish.”

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Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby


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