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Statement released on behalf of Ed Slater & Gloucester Rugby

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Statement released on behalf of Ed Slater & Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby is deeply pained to announce that Ed Slater has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Following six months of testing, Ed’s diagnosis was confirmed last week and as a result, with the support of his family, friends and Gloucester Rugby, he has made the difficult decision to retire from professional rugby with immediate effect.

Everyone at Gloucester Rugby – players, management and staff – are entirely committed to supporting Ed, his wife Jo and his three children in whatever way required. We know the same will be true of Gloucester and Leicester fans, and the wider rugby community.

While Ed, his family and the Club take time to determine next steps, Gloucester Rugby have opened a JustGiving page. The direction of these funds will be determined in due course, whether it be supporting Ed and his family directly and/or a selected MND charity.

To donate, please click here

Neither the Club nor the Slater family will be making any further comment at this time and kindly request that those wishes be respected.

For more information on MND please visit www.mndassociation.org.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation

Gloucester Rugby is grateful for the support already provided by the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. The Foundation was set up by Scottish Rugby legend Doddie Weir. In June 2017 the Scot revealed he was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. From the outset, Doddie has been driven to help fellow sufferers and seek ways to further research into this, as yet, incurable disease. In November 2017, Doddie and his trustees launched the registered charity, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

The following information has been provided by the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to add further context and clarity to the ongoing research and funding the Foundation is providing and championing.

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was established by Doddie and the Trustees in response to his frustration at the lack of options given to MND sufferers – no effective treatment, no access to meaningful clinical trials and no hope.

The Foundation has already donated millions of pounds for targeted MND research projects and are committed to continuing to invest in the most promising research to help find new treatments, gain improved knowledge and ultimately find a cure.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation also recognises the increased attention surrounding potential links between head injury and neurological disease, but there is currently not enough definitive research on which to draw conclusions about potential links with motor neurone disease (MND).

Whilst the evidence around a link between head trauma and dementia seems to be gaining momentum, the same cannot be implied for MND; these diseases have different causes and underlying factors.

MND is a complex disease and, although we now have a much greater understanding of the genetics involved, the link between genes, environmental and lifestyle factors is not well understood.  Further research is critical to unravelling these details.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation continues to commit significant funds into MND research that will help us to understand its causes. Understanding the causes of MND is crucial to achieving the vision of the foundation; a world free of MND.

For more information on the work of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, we would encourage to visit their website here

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby

Premiership

Wasps announce former Springbok to join coaching team

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Wasps Rugby - Image Credit Wasps Rugby

 

Following Richard Beck’s decision to step down from his role due to personal reasons, Wasps are delighted to announce that former player, Ashley Johnson, has agreed a deal to become the Club’s new Senior Academy Forwards Transition Coach.

Fan favourite Johnson, who joins us from National League 1 side Birmingham Moseley Rugby, won the hearts of the Wasps faithful during his time as a backrow in the eight years he spent at the Club between 2012 and 2020.

Speaking of Johnson’s signing, Men’s Head Coach, Lee Blackett, said:

“To have one of the best signings in our history back at the Club is great news. During his time as a player, he was a key member of the squad and his energy around the training ground was infectious.

“He understands what it means to be a Wasp, which is a huge advantage for an Academy Coach who is developing players to join the senior squad.

“His work at Birmingham Moseley has been impressive and we are delighted to have him back with us.”

Johnson shared his excitement to be joining Wasps Academy: “I am delighted to be joining Wasps Academy and look forward to developing the next generation of Wasps Players.

“I want to thank Birmingham Moseley for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as a coach in the last couple of years. Adam Balding and Pete Glacken have been instrumental in mentoring me and I want to wish them and the Club all the best for the new season.

“I am excited be a part of Wasps again, it almost feels like all those years back when I first joined the Club.” 

Beck, who joined Wasps in June 2019, has been instrumental in the Academy set up during his time. The Club would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication during his time with us.

Matt Williams, Academy Manager, commented: “Richard leaves Wasps with our very best wishes, he has been a crucial part of the Academy staffing group over the last few years. His work ethic & knowledge have earnt him great respect from staff & players alike. He will be a tough act to follow.

“It will be great to welcome Ashley back to the environment. His knowledge of the game is excellent and will really add to the players development. It will also be an excellent opportunity for Ashley to continue his development as a coach!”

Content & Images from – Wasps Rugby

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Premiership

Leicester Tigers sign former World Player of Year Nominee

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Leicester Tigers will welcome Joe Taufete’e to the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The USA international will move to Leicester from Major League Rugby club, LA Giltinis.

Taufete’e has been capped on 34 occasions by the USA Eagles since his Test debut against South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and is the all-time record-holder for most Test tries by a hooker with 22.

The hooker was born in American Samoa and attended Santa Ana College (California), where he played American football as a defensive tackle. During his school years, he was recognised with All-Conference honours.

He made the move to rugby union in 2011 and represented American clubs Belmont Shore (California) and Scioto Valley (Ohio) as well as a short-stint with New Zealand club Otorohanga in Waikato.

In 2016, Taufete’e joined the San Diego Breakers before moving to England to join the Worcester Warriors during the 2016/17 Premiership season.

He represented the Warriors on more than 50 occasions before joining French club Lyon in 2020, who he spent two seasons with before agreeing a short-term deal with MLR club, LA Giltinis earlier this year.

Speaking about the addition of Taufete’e, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “We are really pleased to be able to add a player of Joe’s experience, in not only the Premiership but also international rugby, to Leicester Tigers.”

“He is a powerful player, in attack and defence, and adds competition to our hooking ranks at the club ahead of the new season.

“Joe is an impressive young man who has shown a hunger to want to be a part of our club and contribute to Leicester Tigers, on and off the field, as well as competing at the highest level of Premiership and European rugby.”

Discussing the move to Tigers, Taufete’e said: “To join a historical club like Leicester Tigers and add my name to into the history of a club like this means to me a great deal.”

“I know how it is and what it means to be a Tiger, to push yourself to extremes.

“I have seen how the program has grown since Steve Borthwick took over and I am excited to be playing under his guidance.”

JOE TAUFETE’E
Position: Hooker
Birthplace: Nu’uuli, American Samoa
Date of birth: 4/10/1992
Teams: San Diego Breakers, Worcester Warriors, Lyon, LA Giltinis, USA Selects, USA

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Premiership

Sharks sign respected Full-back on 1 year deal

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Former Gloucester full-back Jason Woodward joins Sale Sharks ahead of 2022/23 Premiership season 

Sale Sharks have signed versatile full-back Jason Woodward on a one-year deal ahead of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. 

The former Bristol Bears and Gloucester man, who can also play on the wing and in the centre, put pen to paper today and will join Alex Sanderson’s squad ahead of their opening pre-season clash against Caldy RFC on August 19. 

Jason signed for Bristol from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes in 2016, before joining Gloucester the following year after Bristol’s relegation from the Premiership. He went on to make made 67 appearances and score 90 points for the Cherry and Whites. 

The 32-year-old represented New Zealand at U20 level but qualifies for England through his grandmother and was called into a training camp by Eddie Jones in 2017. 

Sharks Director of Rugby Alex Sanderson said: “After speaking with Jason it was clear he was still motivated to perform at the highest level, and he was keen for a move North to join the Sharks. 

“Jason is a proven Premiership performer who will add a great deal of quality and experience to what is a young squad here.  

“He has the ability to play in a number of positions and that’s a massive bonus for us with such a busy schedule ahead. 

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