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Premiership

Tigers confirm 2 new signings.

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It’s been a busy few weeks at Leicester Tigers with the announcement of a new incoming head coach with Steve Borthwick followed by the news of 2 new signings.

It had been widely rumoured that Fiji superstar Nemani Nadolo would join the club. The club confirmed the signing this morning.

The outside-back, who is a proven try-scorer and accomplished goal-kicker, has registered 222 points in 29 Test appearances for Fiji since his international debut in 2010 and is capable of playing at wing or centre.

Nadolo, considered one of the game’s best finishers, is currently with Montpellier in France’s Top 14 after impressive showings during stints in both the southern and northern hemispheres.

Prior to the move to France, Nadolo had spells with the Crusaders in New Zealand, Green Rockets in Japan, Exeter Chiefs, Bourgoin and the NSW Waratahs in Australia.

He has registered more than 1,000 points in domestic and international rugby, including more than 150 professional tries.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy admitted the addition of Nadolo to the Leicester squad was one that players, coaches and supporters could all “get excited” about ahead of his arrival in the summer.

“It’s certainly one to get excited about, no matter who you are,” said Murphy.

“He’s a star of the international game and a player that crowds all over the world have been able to enjoy.

“Now, the Tigers faithful get that chance and the squad, as well as coaching staff, get the opportunity to work alongside and with Nemani from next season.”

Nadolo will follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Seru Rabeni, Vereniki Goneva, Seremaia Bai, Campese Ma’afu and World Rugby Hall of Famer Waisale Serevi in representing the Tigers.

Murphy, who played alongside all but Ma’afu for Tigers, said he believed Nadolo could leave a legacy like his fellow Fijians at Welford Road.

“We have been blessed with some incredible Fijians at Tigers and I was fortunate enough to have featured alongside some of the very, very best as a player,” added Murphy.

“Nemani certainly possesses the traits of a player that Tigers fans look for and if we didn’t believe he could come here and do for us what we know he’s capable of, we wouldn’t have signed him.

“I don’t think it will be long before we are hearing ‘Nadolo’ chanted from the Terrace at Welford Road.”

The 32-year-old’s signing comes after the recent announcement of signings Zack Henry and Shalva Mamukashvili, as well as recommitments from international duo George Ford and Ellis Genge alongside youngsters Tom Hardwick, George Worth and Sam Aspland-Robinson.

Speaking about the Tigers, Nadolo said: “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club.

“Tigers is everything I’m looking for in a club … family first and the vision they have moving forward is something I wanted to be a part of.”

When asked about what Tigers supporters can expect of him, he said: “I can’t wait to roll my sleeves up and rip in.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and my family to come set up shop in your town.

“Hopefully I earn the respect of the fans by doing my talking on the field.”

Nadolo will link-up with his new Tigers team-mates in the summer ahead of the 2020/21 season.

The Tigers also announced the signing of Georgian international, Shalva Mamukashvii.

The 29-year-old has made 73 Test appearances for The Lelos since 2011 and represented his home nation at both the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.

Mamukashvili’s career began in Georgia as a 17-year-old with RC Kochebi, from where he was selected for the national side, before moving to Armia Tbilisi.

In 2014, he was signed by Sale Sharks and spent a season in the Premiership before stints in Scotland with the Glasgow Warriors and in France with Montpellier, Toulon and US Carcassonne.

Mamukashvili moved home to Georgia in 2018 to join Locomotive before linking up with Enisei-STM ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said the addition of Mamukashvili to Leicester’s front-row stocks was an exciting prospect.

“Shalva is a well-travelled, experienced young man who offers us a unique, exciting option in the front row,” said Murphy.

“This club has welcomed front-rowers from all over the globe and we’re confident Shalva can be another international success story for us at Tigers.

“Nobody plays 70-odd Test matches and for the quality outfits that Shalva has unless you are a hard-working, motivated professional and in the conversations and meetings we have had with him, we’ve seen that in spades.

“Supporters should be excited about Shalva’s arrival and what he will bring to this club, on and off the pitch.”

Mamukashvili added: “It’s a great club, a very historical club and one of the most successful in England and the Premiership.

“I am motivated to give 100 per cent and have a good season at Tigers. I am looking forward to it.”

Premiership

London Irish announce signing of Creevy

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Argentina international Agustin Creevy has agreed to join London Irish with immediate effect.

The former international captain made 89 appearances for Los Pumas, including playing at two Rugby World Cups. His impressive number of international caps ensures that Creevy is currently the most capped Argentinian international player of all time.

Over half of Creevy’s international appearances saw him captain Argentina, proving his leadership qualities on the highest stage.

The hooker’s career has seen him develop his game in France with Biarritz, Clermont and Montpellier before joining Worcester Warriors. More recently, Creevy has been plying his trade with Super Rugby’s Jaguares, helping the Argentinean franchise to the 2019 Super Rugby final.

Creevy’s arrival at London Irish sees the Exiles’ amount of different nationalities grow to 10. The squad currently has players from England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Fiji, Zimbabwe, Samoa, Tonga and now Argentina.

Commenting on the latest addition to the squad, Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby, said: “Agustin comes to London Irish with a fantastic amount of club and international experience.

“Hopefully he can help to continue the journey that the club is on.”

“I am looking forward to joining London Irish and playing in England once again,” explained Creevy.

“Declan spoke very highly of the club, the people and the direction they want to go. I can’t wait to join up with my teammates and to get stuck in.”

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Premiership

Saracens star signs 2 year extension

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(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Saracens is delighted to announce Scotland international Sean Maitland has committed his future to the club.

The 31-year-old has penned a two-year contract and will remain in north London until at least 2022.

Maitland has played his part in some of Saracens’ biggest moments over the past four years, scoring crucial tries in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Premiership final successes.

In total, the winger has crossed the whitewash 29 times in 73 Sarries appearances and feels at home in NW4.

“I’m very happy to extend my Saracens; it was a bit of a no-brainer for me,” Maitland said.

“My family love it here, we’re settled and I wanted to stayed because I love being here and I love what the club is about and the people that are in it.

“We’re one big family. That comes right from the top, from the owner, into the group and the Academy. We’re all aligned, one big family, and for me that’s important.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “Sean has made an outstanding contribution to our club over the last four years both on and off the field.

“He has taken his game to a new level during that time and has had a great influence on some of our younger players. To have a player of Sean’s quality and experience commit his future to the club is a huge boost.”

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Gloucester announce departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann

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(Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Gloucester Rugby today announced the departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who will be joining Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.

Gloucester Rugby Chairman Martin St Quinton said “I’d look to put on record our thanks to Johan for the significant contribution he’s made to the Club over the three seasons he’s been with us. His infectious enthusiasm for the game, as well as his in-depth rugby knowledge, made him not only a fans’ favourite, but a strong leader of our playing department. I wish him every success in his new venture.”

David Humphreys, Director of Rugby, added:

“While I’m sorry to see Johan leave Gloucester Rugby, I fully understand his reasons for doing so. Johan approached Martin and me to say that he had received a number of coaching opportunities which, for personal reasons, he would like to consider and we agreed to his request.

In his 3 years at Gloucester, Johan transformed the way we play the game and his “play to inspire” philosophy will leave a lasting impact from his time at the Club. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave Gloucester and I’ve no doubt he’ll make a real difference with the Red Hurricanes in Japan.

Ackermann joined the Cherry and Whites at the start of the 2017/18 season, and took the team to the final of the European Challenge Cup in his first season. The following season ended with the Club in third place in the Premiership, thus qualifying for a second successive season of European Champions Cup rugby.

Johan Ackermann had this message for the Gloucester fans, staff and players: “Being Head Coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it. Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience. I would especially like to thank Martin [St Quinton] for the faith that he has shown in me. His support and friendship have meant a lot to me. Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm. I wish the Club nothing but the best.”

Gloucester Rugby today announce the departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who will be joining Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.

Gloucester Rugby Chairman Martin St Quinton said “I’d look to put on record our thanks to Johan for the significant contribution he’s made to the Club over the three seasons he’s been with us. His infectious enthusiasm for the game, as well as his in-depth rugby knowledge, made him not only a fans’ favourite, but a strong leader of our playing department. I wish him every success in his new venture.”

David Humphreys, Director of Rugby, added:

“While I’m sorry to see Johan leave Gloucester Rugby, I fully understand his reasons for doing so. Johan approached Martin and me to say that he had received a number of coaching opportunities which, for personal reasons, he would like to consider and we agreed to his request.

In his 3 years at Gloucester, Johan transformed the way we play the game and his “play to inspire” philosophy will leave a lasting impact from his time at the Club. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave Gloucester and I’ve no doubt he’ll make a real difference with the Red Hurricanes in Japan.

Ackermann joined the Cherry and Whites at the start of the 2017/18 season, and took the team to the final of the European Challenge Cup in his first season. The following season ended with the Club in third place in the Premiership, thus qualifying for a second successive season of European Champions Cup rugby.

Johan Ackermann had this message for the Gloucester fans, staff and players: “Being Head Coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it. Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience. I would especially like to thank Martin [St Quinton] for the faith that he has shown in me. His support and friendship have meant a lot to me. Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm. I wish the Club nothing but the best.”

In light of Johan’s departure and the implications arising from Covid-19, The Board of Gloucester Rugby has discussed a new coaching structure for the playing department, and will make an announcement about it once the appropriate consultations have taken place.

In light of Johan’s departure and the implications arising from Covid-19, The Board of Gloucester Rugby has discussed a new coaching structure for the playing department, and will make an announcement about it once the appropriate consultations have taken place.

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