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Falcons snap up London Irish Out-Half



Thursday 22 June 2023

Rory Jennings has become Newcastle Falcons’ latest signing, joining the Kingston Park club on a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old plays fly-half or centre and has spent the past two seasons with London Irish, having arrived in 2021 from French giants Clermont.

Englishman Jennings is a product of the Bath academy who played five Premiership games for the West Country outfit before joining Coventry, where he was joint top-scorer during the 2020-21 campaign.

Playing for England Under-20s in the 2015 Junior World Championship final against New Zealand, he stands at 176cm (5 foot 9) and 84kg (13 stone 3).

Jennings made 19 appearances for London Irish last season, 11 of them in the Gallagher Premiership and four in the Heineken Champions Cup, with Newcastle Falcons head coach Alex Codling delighted to have him on board.

Codling said: “Rory brings with him a lot of different qualities and is someone that I’ve worked with before, so I know he’s a great character.

“He’s been a key part of a London Irish team who played exceptionally well last season and I’m looking forward to seeing him make a really positive impact here.

“He’s very comfortable playing either at centre or fly-half and he has a great ability to play at the line, which will suit the way we want to play. That option to have him as a second receiver gives us great flexibility, but he’ll make a big contribution wherever he plays.”

Glad to have his future secured following the news that London Irish will not compete in the upcoming Gallagher Premiership, Jennings said: “First and foremost I’m really excited to be joining Newcastle Falcons and to be given the opportunity.

“I want to get stuck in straightaway and contribute to the group, but of course it would be remiss of me not to mention the recent events at London Irish. The club and supporters there have given me a huge amount over the past two years, which I’ll never forget.

“It’s been a tremendously difficult time affecting a lot of really good people, but it doesn’t take away from the fact a new opportunity has opened up for me at Newcastle. I’m really thankful for that and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club.

“I worked with the Falcons’ new head coach Alex Codling for a brief period when I went on loan from Bath to Ealing, and know him to be a very good coach. It’ll be great to link up with him again, and I know quite a few of the other players already from either playing with them or meeting them around various things.”

Looking forward to making an impact at Kingston Park, he added: “I’m very competitive and I’ll give absolutely everything for every second I’m on the pitch or in the training environment.

“I’ve played fly-half and centre plenty of times, and I’m happy to play wherever I’m needed. I’ll go wherever the coaches want me and wherever’s best for the team, and I can’t wait to get up there next week to begin the journey.

“As a visiting player I know Newcastle to be a very difficult place to come and get a result at, so I’d imagine they’ll be looking to build on that whole fortress mentality. It will be good to be on the other side of that, and the North-East crowd always seem like they get right into it.

“Away from the rugby it just seems like a great city with friendly people, and I’ll try to throw myself into getting out and about round the region. It’s a great opportunity from both a rugby and lifestyle point of view, and as sad as it was the way things panned out at London Irish I’m just grateful to have this chance.”

Jennings becomes the Falcons’ 12th senior signing following the previously-announced arrivals of Murray McCallum (Edinburgh), Eduardo Bello (Saracens), Cameron Hutchison (Edinburgh), Hugh O’Sullivan (London Irish), Tim Cardall (Melbourne Rebels), Louis Brown (Coventry), Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter Chiefs), Kiran McDonald (ex-Munster), Bryan Byrne (Bristol Bears), Josh Bainbridge (Coventry) and John Kelly (Doncaster Knights).

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Position: Fly-half/centre

Born: 24/12/1995

Height: 1.76m (5ft 9)

Weight: 84kg (13st 3)

Honours: England U20

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Team News | Carter starts with Kata on-debut off the bench



Leicester Tigers have named their team for Saturday’s trip south to take on Saracens at StoneX Stadium at 3:05pm, live on TNT Sports.

Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar has made three changes to his matchday selection. Tongan international Solomone Kata is named for a potential Tigers debut with Australian lock Sam Carter earning his first Premiership start.

Olly Cracknell starts at number eight after missing Tigers’ victory over bath in round three.

Leicester will welcome back their remaining Rugby World Cup players on Monday.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “Saturday’s a great challenge for our group and we’ve embraced that.”

“Sam has been really good for us off the bench the last couple of weeks so earns a start and we’re excited to see what Sol (Kata) can bring with his ball-carry and his energy on the field.”



15 Mike Brown [12]

14 Josh Bassett [5]

13 Guy Porter [66]

12 Dan Kelly [62]

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins [6]

10 Jamie Shillcock [7]

9 Tom Whiteley [10]

1 James Cronin [17]

2 Charlie Clare [83]

3 Joe Heyes [128]

4 Cameron Henderson [42]

5 Sam Carter [5]

6 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [90]

7 Tommy Reffell [101]

8 Olly Cracknell [28]



16 Nic Dolly [30]

17 Francois van Wyk [37]

18 Will Hurd [30]

19 Harry Wells [180]

20 Matt Rogerson [5]

21 Joe Powell [6]

22 Charlie Atkinson [22]

23 Solomone Kata*

*Denotes potential Leicester Tigers debut

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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Club announce arrival of former Wallaby coach



Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar has appointed Petrus du Plessis to his senior coaching team as Interim Scrum Coach.

The South African will remain in the role until the arrival of new Scrum Coach Dan Palmer, when his commitments with the Wallabies are complete following the Australian national side’s Rugby World Cup campaign.

Born in South Africa, du Plessis represented St Helens, Orrell and Sedgley Park between 2001-2009 before joining Nottingham Rugby ahead of the 2009/10 Championship season.

He joined Saracens a year later and, during the next sevens seasons, featured in three league and two European Champions Cup winning campaigns.

The front-rower moved to London Irish in 2017 and then Glasgow Warriors in 2018, spending two seasons in Scotland before retiring in 2020 – including a final season as player/coach.

In September 2020, du Plessis was announced as Australia’s Scrum Coach where he worked alongside McKellar for almost three years.

Speaking about the interim appointment, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar said: “Our scrum is an integral part of what we do and, with Dan [Palmer] arriving after the World Cup, we felt it was important to have that specific focus on it during this period.

“To have been able to appoint someone with the experience of Petrus for that was an added bonus and too good an opportunity not to take up for the club and our players.

“I have worked with Petrus over the past few years in Australia and know the energy and enthusiasm he brings, as well as the effort he puts into his work. I am glad we’re able to have that here at Leicester Tigers in the interim.”

The appointment of Petrus du Plessis to the interim role is effective immediately.

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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Bath confirm 2023/24 squad



The official Bath Rugby squad for the 2023/24 season has been announced.

Entering into his second year at the helm of Bath Rugby, Johann van Graan welcomed Ollie Lawrence, Ted Hill, Alfie Barbeary and Fergus Lee-Warner over the course of 2022/23, who remain with squad as we head into 2023/24.

With Finn Russell and Thomas du Toit still yet to link up with the squad after the Rugby World Cup, the Head of Rugby’s squad is looking full of power and prowess. 

Several big names committed their futures to the Blue, Black and White earlier this year, seeing England internationals Tom Dunn, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Ben Spencer and Joe Cokanasiga all re-signing. 

Scotland international Cameron Redpath also pledged his future to the club, as did Irish international second row Quinn Roux. 

Arriving at the club this summer is recently announced signing, Mikey Summerfield, who joined from London Irish. The young prop has been lauded with talent and high prospects, offering another option in the front row. 

Bath Rugby also named Billy Sela, Jack Bennett, Ieuan Davies, Ioan Emanuel, Rory Cameron, James Short, George Timmins and Raff Weston as their Academy intake for 2023/24, with many of them already putting their stamp on the age-grade international stage. 

The Bath Rugby squad are now preparing for the season ahead, with the opening fixtures seeing the commencement of a newly formatted Premiership Rugby Cup.

The coaching set-up has also been refreshed for 2023/23. Joining van Graan on his staffing team are Assistant Coaches Lee Blackett and Richard Blaze, who arrived at the club from Wasps and Leicester Tigers ahead of pre-season.

Stevie Scott and Andy Robinson have also joined van Graan to assist with scrummaging and the coaching of the Academy, respectively.

JP Ferreira and Jon Callard remain with the squad into their second year alongside van Graan. 

bath rugby squad 2023/24

PROP: Arthur Cordwell, Thomas du Toit, Ioan Emanuel, Archie Griffin, Johannes Jonker, Scott Kirk, Beno Obano, Juan Schoeman, Billy Sela, Archie Stanley, Will Stuart, Mikey Summerfield, Kieran Verden

HOOKER: Niall Annett, Tom Dunn, Max Pearce, Jasper Spandler, John Stewart

SECOND ROW: Jack Bennett, Rory Cameron, Harvey Cuckson, Josh Dingley, Eddie Erskine, Charlie Ewels, Will Jeanes, Fergus Lee-Warner, Daniel Marais, Josh McNally, Ewan Richards, Quinn Roux

BACK ROW: Abdul-Khalik Akenzua Al Kareem, Alfie Barbeary, Josh Bayliss, Chris Cloete, Jaco Coetzee, Thompson Cowan, MacKenzie Graham, Arthur Green, Ted Hill, Nahum Merigan, Miles Reid, Ethan Staddon, George Timmins, JJ Tonks, Sam Underhill

SCRUM-HALF: Tom Carr-Smith, Ieuan Davies, Murdoch Lock, Louis Schreuder, Ben Spencer

FLY-HALF: Orlando Bailey, Piers Francis, Sam Harris, Finn Russell, Raff Weston, George Worboys

CENTRE: Will Butt, Louie Hennessey, Ollie Lawrence, Max Ojomoh, Will Parry, Cameron Redpath, James Short, Max Wright

BACK THREE: Joe Cokanasiga, Tom de Glanville, Ciaran Donoghue, Matt Gallagher, Gabe Goss, Luke Graham, Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, Ruaridh McConnochie, Will Muir

bath rugby coaching team

HEAD OF RUGBY: Johann van Graan

ASSISTANT COACHES: Lee Blackett, Richard Blaze, Jon Callard, JP Ferreira, Andy Robinson, Stevie Scott


Content & Images from – Bath Rugby

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