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Premiership

Former England Player to Retire Early

A former England international is set to hang up his boots at the end of the season at only 33

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(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Former England hooker Rob Webber has confirmed that he will retire from the professional game come the end of the current campaign.

Webber, who is currently playing at Premiership side Sale Sharks, and his contract was set to run out at the end of next season, however, Webber believes the timing is right to leave the sport for good despite only being 33.

“The time has come for me to hang up my playing boots at the end of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season. It has been an incredible journey over the last 16 years. The memories I have made will stay with me always, but I now feel it is time to pursue other opportunities within the game. My clubs – Leeds, Wasps, Bath and currently Sale Sharks – have all be been brilliant places to go to work every day. The opportunity to play for my country, tour the world and to be involved in a World Cup are career highlights and achievements I will cherish forever,” he said in a statement released by the Sharks. 

Before joining Sale in 2016 Webber had represented Leeds, Wasps and Bath in a career that spans over 16 years. 

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond admitted he is sad to see Webber go, but he wishes him the best for whatever the future holds. 

“It’s a shame to see Rob leave the club earlier than expected. I did everything I could to keep Rob at the club for the final year of his contract, but it was clear he had made his mind up. As a club, we wanted to support his decision to pursue other opportunities within the game. In my opinion, Rob has shown the best form of his career while at Sale, and we are unfortunate to be losing such an experienced player at the end of the season. I have no doubt that the skill-set he has shown both on and off the pitch at Sale, along with the experience he has in the modern game, will stand him in good stead as he looks to transfer into an off-field role,” he said. 

Webber was capped 16-times by England, with the highlight of his career being three appearances in the 2015 Rugby World Cup despite England crashing out earlier than expected and he will be missed by fans when the time to leave comes.

Premiership

Premiership Duo Eye English Prospect

Two English Premiership sides are looking to the possibility of signing one of England’s hottest prospects according to reports

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(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Bath and Exeter Chiefs are looking into capturing the signature of England youngster Cameron Redpath according to rugby outlet RugbyPass.

The 20-year-old is currently playing for fellow English team Sale Sharks and has been in impressive form, catching the eye of England head coach Eddie Jones, who called him in to train with the senior side last week. 

The Chiefs are thought to be losing centre Sam Hill at the end of the current campaign and see Redpath as a long-term replacement, while Bath have also let Wales international Jamie Roberts leave for Super Rugby outfit the Stormers

Exeter are also believed to be interested in fellow England youngster Josh Hodge, with the 19-year-old back showing his skills in the Championship with the Newcastle Falcons this season and again being involved with Jones’ senior side. 

Redpath is the son of former Scotland international Bryan Redpath and is versatile being able to play at fly-half, centre or full-back. 

He has appeared of 20 times for the Sharks to date and signed a five-year deal in 2017, but both the clubs chasing him will hope that they can tempt him away with a better offer, with the Chiefs more than likely being able to offer Champions Cup rugby as well as currently looking the most likely club to dominate the Premiership over the next few seasons.

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Premiership

Northampton Snap Up Ospreys Ace on Loan

The Northampton Saints have confirmed the arrival of an Ospreys player to help them in the short-term

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(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Premiership side the Northampton Saints have confirmed that they have signed Ospreys lock Ben Glynn on a short-term loan deal.

The 28-year-old joins to help cover the losses of David Robbins, Alex Moon, Api Ratuniyarawa and Courtney Lawes. The former two are missing through injury, while Ratuniyarawa is currently serving a four-week ban and Lawes is on international duty with England in the Six Nations

Speaking on the deal the club’s director of rugby Chris Boyd admitted he is delighted to be able to bring in someone with Glynn’s experience as the team challenge at the top of the Premiership table. 

“We’re very pleased to have been able to bring in a player with plenty of Premiership experience in Ben. Injuries and international availability throughout the Six Nations period is obviously putting a little strain on the depth of our squad, so we’ve got to get over that challenge and Ben will help us to do that. He offers us an immediate option in a position of need, and in the very short time he has been with the squad, he has slotted in brilliantly. So despite a bit of a whirlwind week, he will certainly be in contention for selection against Exeter this weekend,” he said. 

Glynn’s previous experience in the English top flight includes playing over 180 times between stints at Bristol Bears and Harlequins before his move to the Welsh region. 

His first outing with his new club could be one of the hardest he would have imagined as the Saints take on league leaders the Exeter Chiefs this weekend in what is a battle of the top two teams.

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Premiership

Bristol Make Loanee a Permanent Signing

Bristol Bears have confirmed that a player they have had on loan has now committed his long-term future to the club

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears have confirmed that loan signing Henry Purdy has signed a permanent deal with the Premiership club.

The former Gloucester star joined the Bears from Championship side Coventry last month and has impressed since then and has now penned a two-year deal with Bristol. 

The 25-year-old admitted he has been happy since joining and is delighted that they have rewarded his form with a permanent deal. 

“I’ve really enjoyed my short time at the club, and I’m very grateful for the welcome everyone at Bristol has given me. It feels like an awesome culture Pat has built here with an outstanding group of players and staff. It’s an exciting time to be a Bear, and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come,” he said. 

Purdy can play on the wing, in the centre or at full-back and Bristol’s director of rugby Pat Lam believes this makes him a valuable player to have in the side. 

“Henry has made a big impression in a short period of time since arriving at Bristol Bears. He came to the club with a desire to establish himself back in the top flight, and we’ve already seen what he is capable of. Henry is an intelligent rugby player who is a real threat across a number of positions. Our vision is about building a world-class squad with quality depth in every position. Henry is an intelligent rugby player who is a real threat across a number of positions,” he said. 

It is a good move by the Bears as they continue to strengthen their squad ahead of next season but they will be hoping to continue their impressive form so far this season when they take on Worcester Warriors this Sunday.

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