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London Irish sign Wallabies Duo

Great business from the Exiles

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The rumours that have been circulating in recent weeks about a possible move by Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona to Premiership club London Irish have been confirmed on Friday morning.

The Waratahs duo will make the move after both signed contracts with the Premiership club.

“It was a really tough decision to make the move away from New South Wales”, said Phipps, who has been with the Waratahs since 2013 after starting his professional playing career with the Australian Sevens team and then playing Super Rugby for the Melbourne Rebels.

“I’ve loved my time in the sky blue jersey and I’ve got so much pride for the teams I’ve been lucky enough to represent, from schoolboys to club as well as for the State and the Wallabies,” he added.

“I wouldn’t be in this position without the people that I’ve met and that have helped me along the way. All the volunteers, the coaches, the administrators, they have all supported me and I couldn’t be more thankful.

“It’s a really big year ahead with the NSW Waratahs and the Wallabies though, so I’m solely focused on throwing everything I’ve got into this Super Rugby season.

“I’ll take some amazing memories with me but I felt that the time was right for my family and I to make the move overseas to try a different playing style and immerse ourselves into a different culture.

Rona, who has been with the Waratahs for two seasons, said that he was excited about the upcoming season and wanted to further improve his game.

“My focus at the moment is to further improve my game and help our team achieve success in Super Rugby this year. I am excited about the season ahead because I know what we are capable of. I cannot wait for our first competition game and see a full house at Brookvale Oval.

“I have made many friendships through this awesome game and gained a lot of experience working with some of the best coaches and playing with the best in Australia.

“I feel I am a better player from when I first started, I have learnt a lot but I am at a stage of my career where I have been offered the opportunity to take my young family to a new environment. I would like to thank everyone in the NSW Rugby community for their support during my time here.”

Both Phipps and Rona will remain with the Waratahs until the conclusion of the team’s Super Rugby campaign.


Premiership

O’Loughlin looks to build on solid start

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Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens
30/9/22

Rory O’Loughlin believes the hard yards put in during a testing pre-season programme have already started to pay dividends for the Exeter Chiefs.

Three games into the new Gallagher Premiership campaign and it’s been a dream start for the Devonians, who have notched up victories over Leicester Tigers, Worcester Warriors and Harlequins.

Irishman O’Loughlin has featured in all three games and he will start tomorrow’s Round Four encounter away to Sale Sharks as the Chiefs look to build on their impressive start.

It will, however, be another acid test for Rob Baxter’s side, particularly as the Sharks themselves are unbeaten in the top flight so far this term.

“It’s a massive challenge for us,” said O’Loughlin, who joined the Chiefs this summer from Leinster. “Already I’ve seen just how competitive the Premiership is. Every week it’s a different challenge and one which you have to be ready for. There are no easy games!”

Last-gasp victories over Leicester Tigers and Harlequins showed the fighting spirit of the Chiefs, whose summer work alongside the Royal Marines has definitely helped to give them a hard-nosed edge to their play.

“There were times in pre-season when I was questioning my move,” joked O’Loughlin. “The days were long, the sessions were hard, but you’ve seen in these first few games that are fitness levels are high and that we’re able to keep going for the full 80 minutes.

“Although we’ve come out of two of those games with last minute scores, we deserved to win those games, so that’s a big positive and something that we can look to build on.”

Exeter’s strong start has certainly laid a solid foundation from which they can build, but O’Loughlin feels there is still more to come from the team, starting at the Salford Stadium this weekend.

“There was a lot of chat during pre-season where we talked about learning from last season, where we missed out on points we probably should have secured,” he added. “As I said, every game is massive and you have to take points when they are on offer.

“Sale this weekend, we know it’s going to be tough. If you look at their team and the way some of their players play, it’s all based around them getting that physical dominance. We’ve talked a lot about this week and we know we have to match them in that area if we are to get anything from the game.

“That said, we’re coming into the game ourselves in a good mindset and looking to build on what we’ve done so far this season. There have been lots of positives in our game and that’s what we need to use again at the weekend.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby


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Premiership

Team News | Tigers side to take on Saracens

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Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad for the club’s away game against Saracens in Round 4 of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

Hanro Liebenberg captains the side with Ben Youngs named as vice-captain for Saturday’s match at StoneX Stadium.

Borthwick has made eight changes to the starting side from the away win over Northampton Saints in Round 3.

Anthony Watson is named to make his Leicester Tigers senior debut, while Handré Pollard is in line for his first appearance after being included among the replacements.

Phil Cokanasiga, Olly Cracknell, Joe Heyes and Kini Murimurivalu have been named to make their first starts of the 2022/23 campaign after featuring from the bench during the opening rounds.

STARTING XV:
15 Freddie Steward [57]
14 Anthony Watson *
13 Phil Cokanasiga [3]
12 Jimmy Gopperth [3]
11 Kini Murimurivalu [38]
10 Freddie Burns [105]
9 Ben Youngs (vc) [285]
1 James Cronin [3]
2 Charlie Clare [55]
3 Joe Heyes [103]
4 Harry Wells [159]
5 Eli Snyman [21]
6 Olly Cracknell [3]
7 Tommy Reffell [81]
8 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [62]

REPLACEMENTS:
16 Joe Taufete’e [2]
17 Francois van Wyk [20]
18 Dan Cole [293]
19 Ollie Chessum [33]
20 George Martin [42]
21 Jack van Poortvliet [50]
22 Handré Pollard *
23 Chris Ashton [15]

* Leicester Tigers senior debut

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby


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Premiership

Roux and van Velze to make first Bath Rugby starts v London Irish

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Bath Rugby have made five changes to their starting XV for the trip to London Irish in Round 4 of the Gallagher Premiership.

Quinn Roux and GJ van Velze will earn their first starts for the club from lock and blindside flanker respectively, while Juan Schoeman will make his maiden start of the campaign.

Josh Bayliss comes back into the back row that is missing Richard de Carpentier and Chris Cloete due to injury. The latter has sustained a broken metatarsal and will begin his rehabilitation post-surgery.

In the backs, Gabriel Hamer-Webb is the only amendment to the backline that started against Wasps. Will Muir suffered an injury in training and will seek specialist opinion. Matt Gallagher retains his place at full-back with Tom de Glanville’s hamstring issue needing further treatment.

Elsewhere, Tom Dunn remains as captain for his 175th Bath appearance with Will Stuart, Josh McNally and Miles Reid also maintaining their spots in the pack. 

Louis Schreuder and Orlando Bailey’s half-back partnership continues as does the midfield link-up of Max Ojomoh and Jonathan Joseph. Joe Cokanasiga completes the XV from the wing.

On the bench, D’Arcy Rae has returned from injury while Tom Ellis and Ruaridh McConnochie are included following midweek action in the Premiership Rugby Cup.


Bath Rugby team to play London Irish


THE OPPOSITION

15 Henry Arundell, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White; 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Matt Rogerson (c)

Replacements

16 Isaac Miller, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Chandler Cunningham-South, 22 Caolan Englefield, 23 James Stokes


COMPEED RECOVERY JOURNEYS


 

Content & Images from – Bath Rugby


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