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Premiership

Leicester Tigers raid Irish Provinces for double signing.

1 Munster, 1 Leinster.

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Leicester Tigers have announced 3 new signings. 2 of which are coming from Irish Provinces, Leinster & Munster.

The first new signing sees Callum Green return to Leicester Tigers. Originally from Norwich, Green came through the Tigers academy, leading the team as captain in his final year before moving into senior rugby and made his senior debut for the club at the end of the 2008/09 season as a teenager.

After a spell with Yorkshire Carnegie, he joined Newcastle in 2014 and has made more than 100 first-team appearances for the Falcons.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy, welcoming Green’s signing, said: “Calum has played a lot of senior rugby with Carnegie and then the Falcons and has firmly established himself as a Premiership player.

“His stats have been particularly good at the lineout in the last couple of seasons and he is a real hard-worker in the forward pack.”

“We think he will add a lot to the group here when he returns and we look forward to welcoming him back to Tigers this summer.”

Ireland international Noel Reid has also agreed to a move to Leicester Tigers from Leinster for the start of the 2019/20 season.

Capped by Ireland in 2014, Reid began his rugby career with St Michael’s College and Clontarf before making his Leinster debut in 2011.

Reid, 28, has played at fly-half and centre in a century of appearances during seven seasons at Leinster.

Confirming the signing, Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “I’ve been aware of Noel’s qualities for some time in a very successful Leinster set-up and I’m very happy to be able to bring him to Welford Road.

“He is a natural footballer and a versatile player who has worked with top-class players at Leinster and Ireland.

“That experience will be very important to us over a tough and competitive season, and we look forward to seeing his influence within the squad here.”

Reid said: “I’m very excited to be joining a club like Leicester, with its history and success in the game, and to become a Tigers player next season.”

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Leinster and it will be sad to leave the club, staff and players at the end of the season, this place will always be special to me.

Completing the trio of signings is South African international centre Jaco Taute who will arrive from Munster in time for the start of the 2019/20 season.

The 27-year-old Taute played Super Rugby with the Lions and Stormers before moving to Munster, initially on a short-term contract in 2016.

He scored two tries in a win over Tigers in the European Cup during December 2016 and was named in the Pro14 Dream Team at the end of that season.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said:

“We’ve obviously seen Jaco close-up in European competition and he is a big, physical unit in the backline with extensive experience in the southern hemisphere and also at the top-end of European rugby.

“He is an option at centre or at full-back for us and we look forward to welcoming him in the pre-season period.”

Taute said: “I am looking forward to the challenge of the Premiership and excited to be joining a club like Leicester tigers.”

“Leicester has a rich history and I want to contribute to creating even more memories for the fans at Welford Road.

“I am excited about working alongside the quality players in the squad and under Geordan Murphy and his coaching team.”

The addition of Reid, Taute, Green and Crusaders star, Taufua sees the quartet commit to the club alongside England international Manu Tuilagi and fellow Tigers academy graduates Harry Wells, Ben White, Tommy Reffell, Jordan Olowofela, Harry Simmons, Tom Hardwick and Sam Lewis, who have all renewed their contracts with the club in 2019.

Geordan Murphy talks to LTTV about the signings:

Premiership

London Irish announce signing of Creevy

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Argentina international Agustin Creevy has agreed to join London Irish with immediate effect.

The former international captain made 89 appearances for Los Pumas, including playing at two Rugby World Cups. His impressive number of international caps ensures that Creevy is currently the most capped Argentinian international player of all time.

Over half of Creevy’s international appearances saw him captain Argentina, proving his leadership qualities on the highest stage.

The hooker’s career has seen him develop his game in France with Biarritz, Clermont and Montpellier before joining Worcester Warriors. More recently, Creevy has been plying his trade with Super Rugby’s Jaguares, helping the Argentinean franchise to the 2019 Super Rugby final.

Creevy’s arrival at London Irish sees the Exiles’ amount of different nationalities grow to 10. The squad currently has players from England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Fiji, Zimbabwe, Samoa, Tonga and now Argentina.

Commenting on the latest addition to the squad, Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby, said: “Agustin comes to London Irish with a fantastic amount of club and international experience.

“Hopefully he can help to continue the journey that the club is on.”

“I am looking forward to joining London Irish and playing in England once again,” explained Creevy.

“Declan spoke very highly of the club, the people and the direction they want to go. I can’t wait to join up with my teammates and to get stuck in.”

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Premiership

Saracens star signs 2 year extension

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(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Saracens is delighted to announce Scotland international Sean Maitland has committed his future to the club.

The 31-year-old has penned a two-year contract and will remain in north London until at least 2022.

Maitland has played his part in some of Saracens’ biggest moments over the past four years, scoring crucial tries in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Premiership final successes.

In total, the winger has crossed the whitewash 29 times in 73 Sarries appearances and feels at home in NW4.

“I’m very happy to extend my Saracens; it was a bit of a no-brainer for me,” Maitland said.

“My family love it here, we’re settled and I wanted to stayed because I love being here and I love what the club is about and the people that are in it.

“We’re one big family. That comes right from the top, from the owner, into the group and the Academy. We’re all aligned, one big family, and for me that’s important.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “Sean has made an outstanding contribution to our club over the last four years both on and off the field.

“He has taken his game to a new level during that time and has had a great influence on some of our younger players. To have a player of Sean’s quality and experience commit his future to the club is a huge boost.”

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Premiership

Gloucester announce departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann

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(Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Gloucester Rugby today announced the departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who will be joining Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.

Gloucester Rugby Chairman Martin St Quinton said “I’d look to put on record our thanks to Johan for the significant contribution he’s made to the Club over the three seasons he’s been with us. His infectious enthusiasm for the game, as well as his in-depth rugby knowledge, made him not only a fans’ favourite, but a strong leader of our playing department. I wish him every success in his new venture.”

David Humphreys, Director of Rugby, added:

“While I’m sorry to see Johan leave Gloucester Rugby, I fully understand his reasons for doing so. Johan approached Martin and me to say that he had received a number of coaching opportunities which, for personal reasons, he would like to consider and we agreed to his request.

In his 3 years at Gloucester, Johan transformed the way we play the game and his “play to inspire” philosophy will leave a lasting impact from his time at the Club. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave Gloucester and I’ve no doubt he’ll make a real difference with the Red Hurricanes in Japan.

Ackermann joined the Cherry and Whites at the start of the 2017/18 season, and took the team to the final of the European Challenge Cup in his first season. The following season ended with the Club in third place in the Premiership, thus qualifying for a second successive season of European Champions Cup rugby.

Johan Ackermann had this message for the Gloucester fans, staff and players: “Being Head Coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it. Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience. I would especially like to thank Martin [St Quinton] for the faith that he has shown in me. His support and friendship have meant a lot to me. Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm. I wish the Club nothing but the best.”

Gloucester Rugby today announce the departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who will be joining Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.

Gloucester Rugby Chairman Martin St Quinton said “I’d look to put on record our thanks to Johan for the significant contribution he’s made to the Club over the three seasons he’s been with us. His infectious enthusiasm for the game, as well as his in-depth rugby knowledge, made him not only a fans’ favourite, but a strong leader of our playing department. I wish him every success in his new venture.”

David Humphreys, Director of Rugby, added:

“While I’m sorry to see Johan leave Gloucester Rugby, I fully understand his reasons for doing so. Johan approached Martin and me to say that he had received a number of coaching opportunities which, for personal reasons, he would like to consider and we agreed to his request.

In his 3 years at Gloucester, Johan transformed the way we play the game and his “play to inspire” philosophy will leave a lasting impact from his time at the Club. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave Gloucester and I’ve no doubt he’ll make a real difference with the Red Hurricanes in Japan.

Ackermann joined the Cherry and Whites at the start of the 2017/18 season, and took the team to the final of the European Challenge Cup in his first season. The following season ended with the Club in third place in the Premiership, thus qualifying for a second successive season of European Champions Cup rugby.

Johan Ackermann had this message for the Gloucester fans, staff and players: “Being Head Coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it. Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience. I would especially like to thank Martin [St Quinton] for the faith that he has shown in me. His support and friendship have meant a lot to me. Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm. I wish the Club nothing but the best.”

In light of Johan’s departure and the implications arising from Covid-19, The Board of Gloucester Rugby has discussed a new coaching structure for the playing department, and will make an announcement about it once the appropriate consultations have taken place.

In light of Johan’s departure and the implications arising from Covid-19, The Board of Gloucester Rugby has discussed a new coaching structure for the playing department, and will make an announcement about it once the appropriate consultations have taken place.

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