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Wasps announce another HUGE signing

125Kg of Huge… and he’s an All Black

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Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images

It started off a poor week for Wasps fans with the news that Nathan Hughes and Willie Le Roux would be leaving at the end of the current season but things got a little brighter with the signing of Malachi Fekitoa yesterday.

Things keep improving on the transfer front for Wasps with another Huge signing announced this morning.

The Wasps social media team were teasing all morning about their new season with this series of Tweets.

Ps- These guys need a pay rise after producing probably the best signing announcement to date yesterday with their Jurassic Park themed video. Watch here.

Check out these teasers and see if you can guess who before the big reveal….

Drum roll please…..

Wasps are delighted to reveal the signing of highly-rated All Black tighthead Jeff Toomaga-Allen from Super Rugby outfit the Hurricanes.

Toomaga-Allen, who picked up a New Zealand cap against Japan in 2013 and was also named in the 2017 Rugby Championship squad, will make the switch to the Ricoh Arena this summer.

The 28-year-old burst onto the Super Rugby scene with the Canes in 2012 and has gone on to make 101 appearances for the franchise, helping them win the title in 2016 as they defeated the Lions 20-3 in the final.

He was also part of the Wellington-based side’s charge to the 2015 final while they have also made the semi-finals in the last two campaigns.

Toomaga-Allen will link up with former teammate Brad Shields at Wasps, with both having made their Hurricances debuts back in 2012, and both also reaching the 100-appearance milestone for the Club in 2018.

On the New Zealand domestic stage, Toomaga-Allen has represented Wellington 34 times in the ITM/Mitre 10 Cup, helping them to the final of the competition back in 2013 and was also named as their Top Player in 2012.

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “To bring someone of Jeff’s calibre to the Club is fantastic news.

“Jeff is a solid scrummager while also being strong in defence, and like most New Zealanders, he is gifted with ball in hand so he’s a terrific all-round player.

“We’re looking forward to him joining us next season as he’ll provide a real wealth of experience to the front row.”

“I’m really excited to be joining Wasps later this year. It’s a fantastic Club with a lot of history.

Toomaga-Allen

“I want to help the Club compete at the very top of the Premiership and European competitions, and hopefully I can be part of something special in winning trophies.”

6 Nations

Six Nations and Premiership Could Lock Horns

The prospect of further complications in the Six Nations due to the Coronavirus could cause a backlash from Premiership clubs

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Premiership clubs could lock horns with the Six Nations as they may recall players due to the uncertainty surrounding the tournaments conclusion due to the Coronavirus.

Six Nations officials will be at the World Rugby meeting that is set to take place on Monday, with the threat of the Coronavirus to the championship among the topics to be discussed. 

As of the time of writing only one game has been officially postponed with Ireland’s clash with Italy next weekend being called-off due to the threat of the spreading of the virus. 

However, there have already been discussions surrounding England’s trip to Rome to face the Italians a week later with the game appearing another likely casualty with Italian Rugby already cancelling all PRO14, national championship and youth games for this weekend, with further disruption anticipated. 

With that in mind, Premiership clubs could ask for their players to be released from international duty as the uncertainty over the rescheduled dates hanging over the Six Nations. 

The clubs have an agreement with the England set-up whereby players can be released for international duty during out of window periods, however, there is no such agreement with other nations. 

Meaning the likes of Italy, Wales and Scotland could be forced into releasing players back to their clubs. 

There are a number of key men involved in those nations that play in the Premiership, but with Italy the most likely to be in unclear waters over when their fixtures will be played the likes of star man Jake Polledri could be asked to remain with Gloucester should they have a game around the time of the rescheduled Six Nations games. 

It appears unlikely with the congested fixtures pile-up for several clubs in the final months of the season making rescheduled Six Nations games more likely to be played in the Summer or Autumn meaning they wouldn’t disrupt the club calendar. 

Although it is all in the air at the moment and it could cause a massive headache for the Six Nations depending on the timing of their rescheduled games.

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Premiership

Exeter Closing in on England Starlet

Exeter Chiefs are reportedly set to sign one of England’s most exciting young stars as they build towards the future

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Exeter Chiefs are interested in taking exciting back Josh Hodge from the Newcastle Falcons following a number of starring performances in the Championship this season.

Hodge has played a role in the Championship club’s rise to the top of the table, leaving them likely to be promoted back to the Premiership after a one year absence. 

His performances have left Premiership sides looking at his situation and taking him to their club, however, RugbyPass believe that the Chiefs are closing in on a deal for the youngster. 

As well as his fine club form he has featured prominently for the England U20’s side and received a call-up to Eddie Jones’ England senior squad to train with the team during the Six Nations campaign. 

Hodge plays mostly at full-back and Exeter see him as a successor to Stuart Hogg, who they signed from Glasgow Warriors last summer. 

Hogg has been incredible so far this season, but the Chiefs would be able to ease Hodge into the squad while Hogg is on international duty with Scotland over the coming seasons, while he could also lean on the Scottish ace to help him develop as a player. 

The Chiefs have already started building towards the future by snapping up Wales U18 star Christ Tshiunza, and were reported to be chasing the signature of Cameron Redpath before he signed for Bath

Hodge looks set for big things in his future and would be another clever signing for the Chiefs, who hope to capitalise from Saracens relegation by dominating the Premiership over the next couple of seasons and currently sit top of the table with an eight-point cushion to second.

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Premiership

Northampton Quartet Extend Deals

Northampton Saints have confirmed that four of their players have agreed contract extensions with the Premiership club

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(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Northampton Saints have announced that Harry Mallinder, Ahsee Tuala, Tom Collins and Paul Hill have signed contract extensions with the Premiership side.

With almost 400 appearances for the club between them the players extensions are a major boost for the Saints and the club’s director of rugby Chris Boyd is delighted with the business. 

“We’re absolutely delighted to sign these boys on. They’re four Saintsmen who’ve been here for a long time and are all an important part of the fabric of our organisation. They’ve all played a good chunk for us, but a few of them are still young too and they’re all important cogs in our machine. We’re not completely finished in terms of our recruitment and retention, but we’re getting very close to getting the balance we want,” he said. 

Mallinder is a Saints academy product and the utility-back has become a key man for the club, while Tuala is the most capped player of the lot with 113 appearances to his name and like Mallinder is a star for the team from full-back. 

Fellow back Collins was their second highest try-scorer last season with 16 tries and at only 25 he looks set to only get better. Hill is the only forward of the lot and like Collins is young at 24, which for a prop makes his future bright. 

It is a major boost for the club who are looking to battle at the top of the Premiership table this season, but sit in fourth following last weekend’s battering at the hands of league leaders Exeter Chiefs and face another tough task this weekend when they head to Saracens.

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