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Harlequins Secure South African Star’s Signature

Harlequins have confirmed the signing of one of the most powerful backs in Super Rugby for next season

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(Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

Harlequins have announced the signing of South African back Andre Esterhuizen from Super Rugby outfit the Sharks.

The 25-year-old, known as ‘The Giant’ due to his size and stature, will link-up with the squad ahead of the 2020/21 season following the end of the upcoming Super Rugby campaign with the South African-based franchise. 

The eight-time capped Springbok is delighted to be joining the Premiership side and admitted the opportunity was too good to turn down.

“When the opportunity to play for Harlequins came up, I knew it was the right move for me to develop my career and get the chance to play in the Premiership, as well as experience the European competition, which have always been dreams of mine. Paul Gustard and his team are building something special there and to have the chance to work with a young and dynamic coaching group such as Nick Evans and Sean Long is really exciting. I can’t wait to run out at The Stoop and show them what I can bring to the team,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Gustard believes that Esterhuizen’s sheer power will be a massive boost to the club and is excited to have him on board. 

“Andre is an incredible signing for Harlequins. He is a current Springbok who has the ability to change any game through his raw power and strength in the contact areas. His physical abilities are impressive enough, but we were further attracted by his capacity to be a second playmaker, distributing before and through the line. He is a fantastic talent and his addition to our squad is very exciting. Besides his ability on the field, which is without debate, he is a tremendous human being. He has the character that we want and at 25 is entering his prime as a player. He will join a backline that we feel can grow together and develop into an elite unit, developing a deep understanding of each other and building strong friendships,” he said. 

Esterhuizen will be a huge addition to the Quins back-line with his ability to play centre and full-back, as well as having 72 Super Rugby appearances to his name ahead of the new season and will be hoping to hit the ground running when he heads to England.

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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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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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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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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