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Premiership

London Irish Sign Tongan International Forward

London Irish’s impressive summer recruitment has continued as they have captured the signing of an experienced forward

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(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

London Irish have confirmed the signing of Tongan international forward Steve Mafi ahead of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season.

The versatile forward, who is comfortable in both the second-row and back-row, has had previous experience in England having lined-out for Leicester Tigers over 80 times over a four-year spell and is excited to return to the Premiership.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to return to England and test myself in the Premiership. London Irish is entering an exciting period in its history and I am thrilled to have signed. Next season will be a great challenge for myself and for the club and I cannot wait to run out and play for my first game in the famous green shirt,” he said.

Since his time with the Tigers Mafi has gone on to play for Super Rugby franchise the Western Force and Castres, where he won the Top 14 in 2018.

The Exiles director of rugby Declan Kidney is delighted to have added such an experienced player to his squad.

“Steve is another experienced addition to our squad moving forward. We know how demanding and challenging the Gallagher Premiership is, so it is important that we assemble a squad to meet the demands. Steve has a wealth of experience and the ability to cover several positions in the second and back row. We look forward to welcoming him to the club,” he said.

The 29-cap Tongan will certainly add experience to the club who are preparing for life back in the Premiership following their promotion from the Championship last season.

London Irish have already spent big this summer adding the likes of Waisake Naholo, Paddy Jackson, Noel Reid, Sean O’Brien, Sekope Kepu, and Nick Phipps among others with Mafi now joining the list of in-comings.


Premiership

Exiles name squad for Saints’ cup visit

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Declan Kidney has confirmed the squad that will welcome Northampton Saints to the Gtech Community Stadium for Round 2 of the Premiership Rugby Cup on Tuesday night (7:45pm kick-off).

Tarek Haffar, Patrick Harrison, and Ciaran Parker are in the front row, with Ed Scragg and Chunya Munga in the second row.

Jack Cooke captains the side from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Isaac Curtis-Harris and Ben Atkins

Hugh O’Sullivan and Rory Jennings are the halfback duo, with Tom Hitchcock and Luca Morisi combining in the centres.

Michael Dykes, Ben Loader and Logan Trotter form the back three to complete the line-up.

“We have 13 players in tomorrow’s squad that have come through the Club’s Academy system,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“This is a credit to the hard work that the players and Academy staff have put into their development, and it’s great to see.

“We had a good win against Harlequins last time out in this competition, but we know the size of the challenge ahead of us given the result of the trip to Northampton in the league.

“Northampton have a good squad at their disposal, and I’m sure that both sides will come into the contest wanting to play a good, expansive brand of rugby.”

London Irish:
15 Logan Trotter, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Tom Hitchcock, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Rory Jennings, 9 Hugh O’Sullivan, 1 Tarek Haffar, 2 Patrick Harrison, 3 Ciaran Parker, 4 Ed Scragg, 5 Chunya Munga, 6 Jack Cooke (c), 7 Isaac Curtis-Harris, 8 Ben Atkins.

Replacements:
16 Joseph Vajner, 17 Jamie Jack, 18 Mikey Summerfield, 19 Hallam Chapman, 20 Izzy Moore-Aiono, 21 Ollie Allan, 22 Jacob Atkins, 23 Alex Harmes.

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Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby


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Premiership

Team news: Side for Tuesday Cup clash

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Monday 26 September 2022

Louie Johnson starts at full-back for Newcastle Falcons on Tuesday night as they continue their Premiership Rugby Cup campaign at home to Sale Sharks.

The 7.45pm kick-off at Kingston Park Stadium sees five personnel changes from the side which was beaten 35-21 in the opening round at Wasps – Newcastle once again rotating their resources in a block which sees them playing five games in 13 days.

Former Saracen Elliott Obatoyinbo moves to the right wing in his second game since signing a short-term contract, Iwan Stephens starting on the other wing after scoring with the final play at Wasps.

England Under-20s hooker Ollie Fletcher makes his first start for the Falcons after coming on from the bench in their last cup outing, while Matthew Dalton packs down at second row after a summer which has seen him playing club rugby in Australia.

Newcastle University flanker George Bennett-Teare is one of four guest players in the match-day squad, being joined by fellow Newcastle students Rory Ward and Oliver Melville plus Northumbria University’s Will Hopes.

On the bench there could be a debut for 18-year-old prop Mike Rewcastle, with 13 current or former Falcons academy players selected in the match-day 23.

Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder said: “This is a great opportunity for this group of players to go out there and show us what they can do in a proper match scenario.

“Playing three away games in the space of eight days has really tested our playing resources, and with our Gallagher Premiership game against Bristol being on Friday night this week we are again being pushed to the limit with such a short turnaround.

“But there is a lot of attacking ability within this group, it’s a wonderful chance for them to put in a big performance in front of our home crowd and really push their case for selection on a longer-term basis.”

Tuesday’s game is not being shown on TV or live stream, so being there in person is the only way to see all the action.

Click here to book your tickets, or click here to view our ticket bundles including entry into Friday’s Premiership visit of Bristol Bears.

Newcastle Falcons team to face Sale Sharks (Tuesday, 7.45pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Louie Johnson, 14 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 13 Zach Kerr (captain), 12 Ewan Greenlaw, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Josh Thomas, 9 James Blackett; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Ollie Fletcher, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Josh Peters, 6 George Bennett-Teare, 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Matt Deehan.

Replacements: 16 Mark Dormer, 17 Mike Rewcastle, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 Rory Ward, 20 Will Hopes, 21 Ben Douglas, 22 Jeremy Civil, 23 Oliver Melville.

Not available for selection: Luke Coulston, Nathan Earle, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Pete Lucock, Matias Moroni, Logovi’i Mulipola, Chidera Obonna, Matias Orlando, Guy Pepper, Vereimi Qorowale, Charlie Smith, Philip van der Walt, Will Welch, Michael Young.

Sale Sharks: 15 Elliot Gourlay, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Joe Bedlow, 12 Tom Curtis, 11 Sammy Adu, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Nye Thomas; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 Ethan Caine, 3 Joe Jones, 4 Dom Barrow, 5 Alex Groves, 6 Matt Postlethwaite, 7 Sam Dugdale (captain), 8 Reuban Birch.

Replacements: 16 Harry Thompson, 17 Tumy Onasanya, 18 Cal Ford, 19 Ben Bamber, 20 Ewan Murphy, 21 Huw Davies, 22 Cal Morris, 23 Arron Pope.

Referee: Hamish Smales.

GUEST PLAYER BIOS

George Bennett-Teare: Back row, Newcastle University, 01/02/2002, 193cm, 110kg.

Will Hopes: Lock, Northumbria University, 20/7/2001, 194cm, 105kg.

Oliver Melville: Full-back, Newcastle University, 19/01/2002, 182ck, 87kg.

Rory Ward: Lock, Newcastle University, 01/03/2003, 196cm, 108kg.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


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Premiership

Saints sign Bristol forward on loan

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Northampton Saints can today confirm the signing of Marty Mulhall from Bristol Bears on a month-long loan deal.The 120kg loosehead prop, 25, initially joined the Bears from Swansea University in July following a stint in BUCS Super Rugby, having already represented Ireland Students.Mulhall has signed until the end of October to bolster Northampton’s squad, with Saints scheduled to play eight times in the next five weeks – including three Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures (against London Irish, Saracens and Harlequins) and five in the Gallagher Premiership (Harlequins, Wasps, Newcastle Falcons, Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears).The Club would like to thank the management team at Bristol for their co-operation with this loan.

Northampton Saints can today confirm the signing of Marty Mulhall from Bristol Bears on a month-long loan deal.

The 120kg loosehead prop, 25, initially joined the Bears from Swansea University in July following a stint in BUCS Super Rugby, having already represented Ireland Students.

Mulhall has signed until the end of October to bolster Northampton’s squad, with Saints scheduled to play eight times in the next five weeks – including three Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures (against London Irish, Saracens and Harlequins) and five in the Gallagher Premiership (Harlequins, Wasps, Newcastle Falcons, Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears).

The Club would like to thank the management team at Bristol for their co-operation with this loan.

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby


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