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The First Interview: Johann van Graan

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Bath Rugby Head of Rugby Johann van Graan sat down for his first club interview after the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership fixtures were confirmed on Tuesday.

The Blue, Black and White will face West Country rivals Bristol Bears in the opening round before back-to-back home matches against Sale Sharks and Wasps.

Van Graan discussed his excitement of experiencing a full Rec for the first time as part of the club as well as a host of other topics including his coaching unit, his values and how pre-season is going to date.

WATCH JVG’S FIRST BATH RUGBY INTERVIEW

Source – Bath 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

Content & Images from – Leicester Tigers Rugby

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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. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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