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Wasps confirm signing of Malakai Fekitoa

Finally some good news for Wasps fans.

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Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Another rumbling rumour has come to fruition with Wasps announcing the signing of former All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa.

This is just the boost the fans need after yesterday the club announced that both Nathan Hughes and Willie Le Roux would be leaving the club.

The club teased fans this morning with this Tweet before making it official at 11.30am.


“Malakai is a world-class player with bags of talent.
“He’s a proven player at the top level and to bring someone of his calibre to Wasps is a massive coup for the Club.
“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming him to the Ricoh in the summer where he will no doubt bring vital experience and know-how which will be of great benefit to some of our younger players.”
Fekitoa said: “I am very excited to make the move to the Ricoh Arena next season.
“Wasps are a team that play an exciting brand of rugby and are very ambitious. Hopefully I can help them push forward and achieve silverware in the next few years.” 

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young:

Fekitoa who is currently playing with Toulon in the Top 14 was thought to be a pondering a return to New Zealand to pursue more All Blacks caps but in signing with the Gallagher Premiership outfit he gives up that hope.

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The 26-year-old Fekitoa surprised many with a sudden departure to France to join Toulon for the 2017-18 season after playing the last of his 24 tests for the All Blacks against the touring British & Irish Lions.

Fekitoa will join his old All Blacks & Highlanders teammate Lima Sopoaga and former Hurricanes and Wellington captain Brad Shields at the Wasps.

Premiership

Phipps pens Exiles contract extension

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Picture Credit - London Irish

Nick Phipps has put pen to paper on a contract extension with London Irish.

The Australian scrum-half – who joined the Club ahead of the 2019/20 season – has agreed a new deal to extend his stay with the Exiles.

The 32 year-old, who has over 70 caps for the Wallabies to his name, has made 39 appearances for the Exiles to date – and he’s excited about what the future holds for London Irish over the coming years.

“I’m chuffed to bits to agree a new deal” he said. 

“This is a really special Club and as a family we’re really enjoying our time in London, so there’s nowhere I’d rather be, it was a no-brainer to extend my stay.

“I want to make special memories here. We’ve got a great bunch of boys, who love playing for this Club; the coaching staff are great to work with on a daily basis – and we really feel we’re on an upward trajectory.

“There’s good things going to be happening here, I’m convinced of that – and I can’t wait to continue to be part of this exciting journey we’re on.”

Exiles Director of Rugby, Declan Kidney, believes Phipps’ decision to extend his stay at Irish is a clear signal of the Club’s intent, commenting: “Nick is an outstanding professional, the kind of player every coach dreams of having in their squad.

“His desire to continue to improve as a player, irrespective of what he’s achieved in a stellar career so far, speaks volumes of him.

“The fact he sees his long-term future here tells you we’re moving in the right direction, so we couldn’t be more delighted he’s committed his future to the Club.”

Tickets for the Exeter game are now available. Please click here to secure your seat!

Source – London Irish Rugby

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Premiership

‘In-form Gloucester a dangerous prospect’ – Lam

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Ashton Gate is set to welcome supporters back for the first time in 14 months, with 3,138 expected in BS3 – and Lam says the return of fans will provide a huge boost for his players, who sealed their play-off place with four rounds remaining by beating Bath at The Rec in round 18.

‘Exciting times’

“It’s exciting times. There is a focus on every game, so playing Gloucester heightens everything again, and the crowd coming in, albeit the beginning of a process to build the crowd back up, it’s exciting times.

“We understand it’s another derby with Gloucester and they will be dangerous. They had a great win, and they are improving every time under George (Skivington) and their new coaching regime.

“However, for us, I think the biggest focus is that every game is important, because when we took top spot in the table in round six, for us still to be there in round 19 is a huge effort, because we put an emphasis on us and on our journey, and we said the only reason we’ll get overtake is if we drop our standards.

“So, it would be a shame, with the position we are in with four games to go and an eight-point lead, to not get to the end as the team at the top, before we go into the semis.”

‘Extremely pleasing’

Lam praised his side’s mentality after they fought back from 15 points down to complete a second successive league double over Bath – and the Bears boss believes the experience will stand them in good stead come the business end of the season.

“The outcome is extremely pleasing. To get a record score down at The Rec was massive and a real testament to the work done by everybody – and the way we did it.

“We knew what we needed to do, and we knew the opportunities were there. We gifted them two soft tries, but the calmness of the guys to work their way through it and keep at it, and it’s great when guys are saying ‘keep going and we’ll get there.’

“For it turn out that way was pleasing and will hold us in good stead for what’s to come.”

Source – Bristol Bears Rugby

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Premiership

Tom Dunn disciplinary hearing

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Tom Dunn appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel last night (Tuesday 11 May 2021) following a dangerous tackle, contrary to World Rugby Law 9.13, during Saturday’s fixture against Bristol Bears.

Tom accepted the charge and was given a four week suspension. He is free to play again on 15 June 2021

Independent disciplinary panel statement – Tom Dunn hearing: “The Panel was satisfied that the player’s intention was to try and prevent the offload rather than to make contact with the head of the Bristol player. In those circumstances there were no factors to warrant a top end entry point therefore the mandatory minimum entry point applied.

 “The player was not entitled to full mitigation due to a recent red card and so the Panel deducted 2 weeks on account of his guilty plea, remorse and positive engagement in the process.”

Source – Bath Rugby

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