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Falcons Sign Another Premiership Player

Newcastle Falcons have continued their impressive start to the summer by signing another player from the Premiership

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Newcastle Falcons have secured the services of Exeter Chiefs lock Toby Salmon on a two-year deal. 

Despite their relegation to the Championship the Falcons are having no trouble in the transfer market and the 26-year-old, 6ft 5in, 120kg lock becomes another big signing.

Having spent two-years at the Chiefs, making 16 appearances and winning the 2018 Anglo-Welsh Cup, Salmon is thankful for the time he had with the Chiefs but is excited by his switch.

“I’ve benefited hugely from being in the Chiefs environment. I’ve always viewed Newcastle as being a great team and a great set-up, and when I’ve spoken to people who have experienced it up there that’s exactly what they have said. The Falcons have a really good team culture which is evident whenever you watch them play. It’s an exciting move for me and I’m looking forward to getting up there,” he said.

Salmon admitted that although his time in Exeter was good, he leaves to seek more opportunities and is ready for what lies ahead.

“I’ve really enjoyed my two years with Exeter and developed a huge amount during that time, but the opportunities for game time were difficult to come by. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some more minutes under my belt with Newcastle. I realise that won’t be easy because they have a very competitive squad, but I’ve played up there a few times previously and I’m just keen to get started. The coaches and the senior players down at Exeter have really brought me on. It has been a great environment to be part of and it’s made me ready for this next challenge up at Newcastle. I’ve been up there as an opposition player and it’s a really tough place to go, so it will be nice to be on the home side!” he added.

Newcastle’s director of rugby Dean Richards is looking forward to Salmon joining and believes he will fit in well.

“Toby is a useful player who has really benefited from his time down at Exeter. He is a solid operator who will fit in very well with the team ethic we have up here, and we look forward to him joining us for pre-season,” he said.

The forward is the latest Falcons’ signing as they have already confirmed the incoming arrivals of Greg Peterson, Darren Barry, Gareth Owen and Josh Basham as they attempt to gain promotion on the first time of asking.

Premiership

London Irish Star Nearing Full Fitness

One of London Irish’s star signings from last summer is nearing full fitness according to reports

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London Irish and former Leinster star Sean O’Brien is said to be nearing full fitness according to rugby outlet RugbyPass.

The former Irish international moved to the Premiership side last summer as one of a number of eye-watering newcomers, but has yet to feature for the club due to a hip injury that required surgery before he had even officially lined-up with the team. 

There was a fear that after a number of high-profile injuries in recent seasons that this time the 33-year-old wouldn’t bounce back and would be forced to retire. 

However, after missing the Rugby World Cup in Japan with Ireland and the start of the new season with London Irish he now appears set for a return to action in the near future according to head coach Les Kiss. 

“Sean (O’Brien) is coming along and has done some full-on contact work and hopefully over the next month we should get some clarity about the timeline. He is getting closer,” he said to RugbyPass. 

O’Brien has a wealth of experience under his belt winning several league titles during his time with Leinster, as well as four European Champions Cups and a Challenge Cup medal to add to his international honours. 

Irish could do with his power and presence on the pitch as they look to climb up the Premiership table over the remainder of the season, with the club currently sitting in 10th above only Leicester Tigers and the already relegated Saracens side.

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Premiership

Young Eying Up New Job

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young could already have his next job lined up according to reports

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Wasps director of rugby Dai Young could be in line for a return to the Ospreys according to RugbyPass.

Young was relieved of his duties as the Premiership side’s director of rugby earlier in the week with Lee Blackett taking up the role on an interim basis the club confirmed. 

“Director of rugby Dai Young will be stepping back from first-team duties for an interim period. Lee Blackett will step up to interim head coach. Further announcements will be made in due course,” a statement read on Tuesday. 

However, it now appears as though the 51-year-old could make his absence permanent with a shock move to take over as Ospreys head coach. 

The PRO14 outfit have struggled so far this season and have already got rid of one manager in Allen Clarke, who was replaced at the end of 2019, with Mike Ruddock coming in on an interim basis. 

It is unknown how long his contract runs for, but if Young became available and was interested it would seem likely that the former Osprey’s player would be a prime candidate to take control on a full-term basis. 

There are other reports from Wales Online claiming that the Welsh side are checking out Springboks attack coach Swys de Bruin as well. 

Although it would appear as though Young’s experience in bringing clubs to the top would be exactly what Ospreys need and after nine years at the Ricoh Arena hw might like a new challenge.

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Premiership

Quins Land Signature of Springboks Prop

Harlequins have confirmed they have signed a Springbok ace ahead of next season

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Harlequins have announced the signing of Springbok prop Wilco Louw from Super Rugby side the Stormers ahead of next season.

The 25-year-old tighthead will remain with the Stormers until the end of the current Super Rugby campaign and link-up with his new team-mates in the summer. 

Speaking on the move the 13-cap South African international admitted he is delighted to join a club with a reputation such as Harlequins. 

“I’m really stoked to be heading to England to play for Quins. If you ask any South African player, they all know Harlequins, its reputation is huge. It’s a big opportunity for me; Harlequins play an exciting brand of rugby with awesome coaches. Gussy has told me to bring my own flavour to Harlequins and I’m really keen to get involved. When I spoke to him in Cape Town, he was really passionate about the future, the guy is full of energy and I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who talks about rugby and a club with that amount of passion and excitement. I’ve played with André (Esterhuizen) and I know the likes of Stephan (Lewies), so I’m really excited to already have a few friends over there to help me settle in and I’m really looking forward to making new friends at the club too,” he said. 

Louw brings a wealth of experience to the squad especially at scrum-time, where he has become a dominant force in the southern hemisphere in recent seasons. 

As well as playing for the Stormers he has played in Europe before with a short-term switch to French Top 14 giants Toulon and will be a huge boost to the current crop of Quins stars.

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