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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

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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Premiership

Jonny May to rejoin Gloucester Rugby

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(Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Official Gloucester Rugby Press Release:

Gloucester Rugby is delighted to announce that Jonny May will be rejoining the Club from July 1st.
A product of the Gloucester Rugby Academy, Jonny played 121 times for Gloucester before moving on to Leicester Tigers in 2017.


He is a key part of Eddie Jones’ England set up, and has already earned 53 caps for his country. He is rightly considered by many to be one of the best wingers in world rugby.
David Humphreys, Director of Rugby, was very pleased finally to be able to let everyone know about Jonny rejoining the Club. 


“We’ve been talking to Jonny for a little while, and were very close to an agreement before the Premiership was postponed and our discussions had to be put on hold. With the changing landscape in English rugby and beyond, we very much appreciated Jonny’s pragmatic approach to our discussions. 


“Our supporters will have watched his performances for England over the last couple of seasons, and will be looking forward to watching him back playing at Kingsholm for Gloucester Rugby. There’s no doubt he’s a world class player, who would be an asset to any side.
“He will not only, I’m sure, be a great player for us again, but also a great mentor to our young wingers like Ollie Thorley and Louis Rees-Zammit. It’ll be a tremendous help for them to have someone with Jonny’s experience to learn from.”

Jonny May was understandably excited about his move.

“Once I had made the decision to leave Leicester there was only ever one club I really wanted to play for. I’m grateful to David Humphreys and everyone at Gloucester Rugby who have found a way for me to rejoin. I’m very excited about being back in Cherry and White playing at Kingsholm again.”

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Premiership

Bristol Looking at Uruguayan Star

Bristol Bears are set to be ready to sign another key player ahead of next season as they look to build a Premiership title challenging side

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears are looking into the possibility of signing Uruguay back-row Manuel Diana according to Americas Rugby News.

The Bears have already been active in the transfer market ahead of the 2020/21 season, securing the signatures of the likes of Semi Radradra and Kyle Sinckler, as well as Saracens’ Ben Earl on loan. 

However, they now appear to be eying up Diana, who is currently playing for Major League Rugby side Toronto Arrows. 

The regular No 8 was part of Uruguay’s Rugby World Cup squad and played in all three of their pool stage matches, including their incredible 30-27 win over Fiji, in which he scored one of his team’s tries. 

With the rugby calendar up in the air due to the coronavirus outbreak it is unknown when exactly players will be able to move from club to club, but in the case of Diana, the remainder of the MLR season has been called off so it would seem ideal for him to be signed up. 

Although, a move to Bristol would mean he would have a fight on his hands for minutes on the pitch with players such as Nathan Hughes, Stephen Luatua and Jordan Crane already on the Bears’ books. 

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