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Team news: Tait skippers Falcons on Saturday



Friday 10 February 2023

Newcastle Falcons have named their side for Saturday’s home game against Southern Knights as both teams unite to raise funds for My Name’5 Doddie.

The foundation raises funds and awareness for research into motor neurone disease, the currently incurable condition which last year claimed the life of former Falcons, Scotland and Melrose great Doddie Weir.

Ticket sales for the 1.30pm kick-off will help generate money for the charity, with Newcastle captained by double centurion Alex Tait.

Fijian flyer Vereimi Qorowale starts on the wing in partnership with Iwan Stephens – centre Zach Kerr starting after the recent announcement of his new two-year contract.

Josh Thomas and Josh Barton form an exciting half-back pairing, with Argentina international Pedro Rubiolo starting in the back row.

Newcastle University lock Adam Scott is named among the replacements for a game which is included on the Falcons’ season ticket, and will be followed at 4.30pm when the club’s Under-18s team plays against Northampton Saints Under-18s.

Falcons head coach Dave Walder, a former team-mate of Doddie Weir during his time at Kingston Park, said: “Hopefully the North East sporting public will come out in their numbers and support a great cause in Doddie’s foundation.

“Having not had a game for a couple of weeks it’s a great chance for some of our lads to get a run-out, and it should be a great occasion with all the love and admiration that people have for Doddie.

“He would have said he hated all the attention but I think secretly he would have loved it, and it’s only right that we do our bit to try and raise funds to find a cure for motor neurone disease.”

After the game Walder will form part of a panel of Falcons legends taking part in a Q&A in the West Stand 100 Club, with team-mates Stuart Grimes, Tony Underwood, Garath Archer and Micky Ward reminiscing about Doddie and sharing stories from their playing days.

Click here to reserve your place at the talk-in, with a suggested donation of £5 to My Name’5 Doddie.

Click here to buy your tickets for the game, which is not being televised or streamed online.

Newcastle Falcons team v Southern Knights (Saturday, 1.30pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Alex Tait (captain), 14 Vereimi Qorowale, 13 Zach Kerr, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Josh Thomas, 9 Josh Barton; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Ollie Fletcher, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Freddie Lockwood, 6 Pedro Rubiolo, 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Tom Marshall.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Smith, 17 Mark Dormer, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 Adam Scott, 20 Matt Deehan, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Jeremy Civil, 23 Chidera Obonna.

Referee: George Selwood.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Springbok World Cup winner to join Bath Rugby



Bath Rugby can confirm the signing of Rugby World Cup-winning international tighthead prop Thomas du Toit.

The physically menacing front row, who featured in the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning campaign in Japan, will join the Blue, Black and White after the 2023 Rugby World Cup along with British & Irish Lion and Scotland fly-half Finn Russell.  

A devastating force in the scrum, du Toit provides another strong ball carrying option for the club following on from the recruitment of Alfie Barbeary, Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence.

He has featured 15 times for the Springboks to date and also has the ability to play loosehead prop, as shown during his time at The Sharks. 

Head of Rugby Johann van Graan said: “Thomas is a winner. He has experience of winning at the highest level, having reached the pinnacle of world rugby with the Springboks. 

“He is a world-class operator at scrum time. There are not many players in the world who can play on both sides of the scrum to an international standard, maintain control and have destructive power. He is another player we have added to our squad who also possesses fantastic carrying ability to get his side over the gainline.

“Thomas is a fantastic leader having been captain of The Sharks and South Africa A and we are delighted he has chosen Bath to continue his rugby journey.”

Hailing from Paarl Boys’ High, du Toit was a roaring presence as a ball-carrier and a scrummager in his teens, earning South Africa Schools caps in 2013. 

A year later he moved from Western Province to The Sharks in what proved to be a mammoth year as he represented his country at the Under-20 Junior World Championship, finishing as a runner-up, before earning his first Super Rugby caps.

Since then, the behemoth prop has developed into a world-class operator, playing for the Springboks during their 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning campaign, just a year after his international debut against Wales. He has also grown into a leader which has seen him captain The Sharks and South Africa ‘A’.

Du Toit, who is a Sharks centurion and is also capped by the Barbarians, has experience of playing outside of South Africa, joining Munster for a brief stint in 2016.

The 27-year-old said: “When I spoke to Johann and heard his vision for Bath, I was excited and knew it was the place I wanted to be. 

“I want to challenge myself and develop my game in an environment which has a desire to progress and achieve.

“Everyone talks about how iconic a place The Rec is to play at and I’ve heard that supporters pack it out every time which is special. I can’t wait to meet everyone and contribute to the club’s future success.”


It’s time to ‘Come together for Bath’ as the renewal window for 2023/24 season is open. Now is your opportunity to purchase at our lowest price in the earlybird window, saving you up to 30% compared to buying on a match-by-match basis!

Join Thomas, Finn, Ollie, Alfie, Ted and more at The Rec next season!



Content & Images from – Bath Rugby

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Skosan to leave Saints at the end of the season



Northampton Saints can today confirm that Courtnall Skosan will leave the Club at the end of the 2022/23 season. The winger – who has scored 19 tries in Black, Green and Gold – departs the Club after making 37 appearances in a Saints shirt to date.“Courtnall is a very good man and I feel very strongly about him and his time at the Club,” said Saints’ Director of Rugby Phil Dowson.

“It’s fair to say Courtnall’s made a significant impact on the field too, his ability to score tries has been an incredible asset but his work rate in all the other areas of his game is just as impressive.

“He is an absolute professional and I know he will continue to give his all as we fight for a play-off place, after that Courtnall will leave with our very best wishes.”

Joining Saints from South African side Lions, Skosan arrived in Northampton with 12 Springbok caps to his name, as well as over 100 appearances across the Super Rugby and Currie Cup competitions with the Lions.

The winger also played for South Africa at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in 2011, and South Africa ‘A’ in 2016, before his full international debut for the Springboks in 2017. 

And Skosan hit the ground running after touching down in Northampton – with the 31-year-old scoring an impressive hat-trick of tries on debut against Worcester Warriors in 2021 before adding a further ten tries in his first term.

The former Springbok has made 16 appearances so far this season and having added a further six tries to his tally already, is determined to end this term positively.

Skosan said: “Thank you to Saints’ management, players, and staff for the last two seasons. And to the fans – thank you for the support. You really are a force to be reckoned with, there’s no better feeling than to play in front of a packed Franklin’s Gardens. 

“For now, though, I’m looking forward to finishing this season off on a high. God bless.”

Content & Images from – Northampton Saints Rugby

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Gloucester Rugby sign Cardiff star



Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of centre Max Llewellyn, who will arrive at Kingsholm this summer ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Llewellyn, who qualifies for both Wales and England, moves to the Cherry & Whites from United Rugby Championship side Cardiff Rugby, where he has made 40 appearances, scoring five tries.

The 24-year-old also spent time with Cardiff RFC in the Welsh Premiership and represented Wales U20s 14 times between 2018 and 2019.

At 6’5’’ and 105kg, Llewellyn brings a significant physical presence into Gloucester’s midfield options.

Max comes from impressive rugby stock, his father, Gareth Llewellyn, having won 92 caps for Wales.

Gloucester Rugby Head Coach, George Skivington, says the young centre is a welcome addition to the squad.

“Max is a young player that has a huge amount of potential and we’re excited about him seeing him in Cherry & White. He’s been really impressive for Cardiff over the last couple of seasons and we know he’s relishing the prospect of challenging himself in the Gallagher Premiership.

“He’s obviously a big lad and he enjoys that physical side of the game but that’s not the only string to his bow.

“Max will have some experienced Premiership backs to learn from here in addition to the coaching staff, so he’s in a great place to develop, and we’re looking forward to seeing him in Cherry & White.”

“I’m really excited to be coming to Gloucester” commented Llewellyn.

“It’s always been an ambition of mine to play in the Premiership and to do that for a club like Gloucester, it’s something I’m really looking forward to.

“I was fortunate enough to play at Kingsholm in pre-season and the atmosphere there was amazing; it’s somewhere you look forward to playing every week.”

Max is in for 2023/24, are you? Get your 2023/24 Club Membership before 5pm today (Monday 20 March) HERE to secure your early bird discount.

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby

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