London Irish have made their 10th signing of the summer already by confirming the arrival of Ruan Botha from the Sharks.
The South African second-row, who has 64 Super Rugby appearances to his name as well as experience captaining the Sharks, joins on an initial six-month contract in which he will act as cover during the Rugby World Cup.
Once the six-months are up he will link-up with Japanese Top League side Kubota Spears before re-joining the Exiles for pre-season in June 2020 and preparing for the 2020/21 season.
Speaking ahead of the move the 27-year-old talked of how he delighted to be joining the club at a time when they are set to return to the Premiership.
“London Irish is entering an exciting period in its history and I am immensely proud to be joining at such an important time as they return to the Premiership. I look forward to meeting up with my teammates for pre-season,” he said.
Meanwhile, London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney is looking forward to the multiple qualities the massive lock brings with him.
“Ruan being available during the Rugby World Cup period is a major boost to us. He has a lot of top-class rugby experience and will also bring a lot more to the squad in terms of his leadership qualities,” he said.
Botha becomes the latest in a long list of stars to join the English outfit with Allan Dell, Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu, Paddy Jackson, Sean O’Brien, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona, Waisake Naholo and Will Goodrick-Clarke all signed up over the past few weeks. The club will be hoping that their good transfer work works a treat as they look to stay up upon their return to the top-tier.
Newcastle Sign Tongan Winger
Newcastle Falcons have continued their rebuild to gain instant promotion back to the Premiership with the signing of a Tongan international
The winger, who has turned out for both Australia and Tonga at international level admitted that the move was unexpected, but he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“The main things that attracted me to Newcastle were the attacking style of play that the Falcons are known for, and the chance to work with a quality director of rugby like Dean Richards and his coaches. I’ve played up at Kingston Park a few times, I know a few of the boys and I like the unpredictability they bring to the game. The move has come from out of nowhere, really, but as soon it was on the radar I knew it was a challenge I wanted to take up,” he said.
Due to his time with Tonga and having turned out for the other Premiership clubs, Vuna is friends with several players in the squad already and is excited about getting to know the rest of the team.
“I’m mates with Tane Takulua and Sinoti Sinoti from our Pacific Nations Cup rugby, likewise with Darren Barry from our time at Worcester, but other than that I’m really looking forward to coming up to the North East and forging some new friendships. I’m still in the Tonga picture for the Rugby World Cup but because I’m still in the UK I’m going to come up to Newcastle next week for the start of pre-season, just to get a couple of weeks’ work in before I head off,” he added.
Vuna hopes to be involved with Tonga at the Rugby World Cup later this year and following that he hopes to lead the Falcons to promotion.
“We’ll have to see what happens in terms of who makes the final squad for the tournament, but I’m excited about starting with the Falcons and seeing what contribution I can make. We’ve obviously got one big hurdle this season in terms of earning promotion back into the Premiership, but if we can achieve that then the club is in really good shape for many years to come with the talent we have in the squad,” he finished.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards confirmed that he has been trying to sign Vuna for some time now and is happy to have finally got his man.
“Cooper is a player I’ve admired for some time and I’m delighted to have finally got him up to Newcastle. He has fantastic footwork, great power and handling ability and he gives us another dangerous attacking option,” he said.
Vuna brings a wealth of experience to the club having also played Rugby League, as well as union, while his father, John, also represented Tonga’s international side.
London Irish Sign Up Experienced Coach
London Irish have added to their coaching ranks by claiming the signature of a key man
“I’m really excited at the opportunity to join London Irish. The club is steeped in history and is on an exciting journey as it moves into the Premiership next season. Having spoken at length with the club, I am excited about the vision and look forward to working in London Irish’s coaching team,” he said.
Director of Rugby Declan Kidney is excited to add Davies to his ever-improving side.
“He has a wealth of coaching experience working with some very good sides and has experience of playing in Europe. Brad will add a vast amount of knowledge to our coaching set-up and will complement the already great work our current coaches do. I know that Les (Kiss), George (Skivington) and Dec (Danaher) are really looking forward to having him on board,” he said.
London Irish are preparing for life back in the Premiership following their promotion from the Championship last year and have already spent a lot of money on new players. The addition of former Rugby League player Davies is another step in the right direction for the Exiles.
Leicester Tigers Put Up for Sale
Leicester Tigers have confirmed plans to sell the club with a view on making them the dominant force they once were
Leicester Tigers announced earlier today that they plan to sell the club with a full strategic review to try and create a long-term project that will see them become a dominant rugby force once more.
Following CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition of a minority stake in Premiership Rugby Limited, CVC plan to develop the sport and replicate the successes they have created in both Formula One and Moto GP.
Since CVC invested there has been huge interest in Leicester from new investors and this has caused the board to run a formal sale process. Claiming that the sale is in the best interests of the club, players, fans and stakeholders.
Leicester Tigers chairman Peter Tom believes that CVC’s investment in the Premiership has given them a unique opportunity.
“CVC’s investment in Premiership Rugby has created a unique opportunity – catapulting the sport into the public consciousness like never before and broadening its appeal to potential investors. It is our duty as a board to explore the club’s strategic options and assess the best possible ownership structure to benefit from the changes ahead on and off the pitch,” he said.
Meanwhile Tigers CEO Simon Cohen confirmed the club plan to not only become the most successful one in England but Europe too.
“The investment and changes in English Premiership rugby present a huge opportunity for the club and a new investor. As the most prestigious club in English rugby, this development will further support Leicester Tigers in its ambition to be the most successful club in England and Europe, to the benefit of our players, the club and our loyal supporters,” he said.
By CVC claiming a stake in Premiership Rugby, Tigers were given a pay-out which actually meant that they ended up with no debt.
Coupled with Leicester’s greater incremental revenues as CVC’s marketing and as commercial strategy grows has made them very attractive for potential investors.
This comes as good news to fans who watched their team fall to its lowest finish in the Premiership, 11th last season, since the Premiership turned professional in 1997.
Leicester are the most successful English team in the professional era, but clubs have been catching up, and it will be interesting to see how all this plans out as the Tigers plan to bounce back.
Newcastle Sign Tongan Winger
All Black Star to Turn Out for Grassroots Side
Another Fijian Heads to Scotland
“Awful, actually terrible” – Fitzgerald blasts one Ireland star.
The Low-down on Ulster’s New Signings
WATCH: How did this hit from Tuilagi go unnoticed & unpunished?
Super Rugby1 week ago
Christian Lealiifano is on the move.
Premiership6 days ago
Leicester Confirm Eighth Signing of the Summer
International6 days ago
Rugby Championship Could be Expanded
Rugby1 week ago
Rugby World Magazine Confirm Top 100 Players
Pro146 days ago
Ulster Sign Up Irish Athletics Superstar
International1 week ago
USA Handed Massive Blow Ahead of World Cup
Pro147 days ago
Scarlets Confirm Trio of Young Signings
International3 days ago
Springboks Name 26-Man Training Squad