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Bristol Confirm Signing of English Ace

Bristol Bears have confirmed the signing of one of England’s top stars ahead of next season

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears have announced the signing of England prop Kyle Sinckler from Harlequins, with the star joining in the summer.

The 26-year-old will link-up with his new club ahead of the 2020/21 season and has signed a two-year deal, reported to be worth up to £500,000 a year. 

Sinckler has admitted the chance to move to an up and coming club like Bristol was to hard to turn down and can’t wait to work with Pat Lam. 

“The opportunity to come to Bristol and play under Pat Lam was one that I couldn’t turn down. The Bears are an ambitious club on the up and it was great to visit the city and the facilities that they have. There’s a clear plan in place for long-term success and I’m looking forward to contributing. I’m grateful to Harlequins for everything they have done for me and my career. I’d like to thank the coaches, fans and my teammates for all their support over the years,” he said. 

Meanwhile Lam, the Bear’s director of rugby is delighted to bring in Sinckler and believes that the club have managed to pick up one of the best players around. 

“Kyle is an outstanding player and it’s fantastic to bring someone of his international calibre to the Bear. He’s coming into his peak years as a front rower and has a wealth of experience at the very highest level. What really pleases us is Kyle’s attitude; he’s excited about coming to Bristol and being part of our journey. A key part of our vision is developing our homegrown contingent to become England internationals. Kyle can set the example of what it takes for a young player to succeed at the highest level. With John Afoa committing for another season and Kyle coming onboard for two, it’ll strengthen the depth of such a key position with two world class players as we plan to fulfil our Champions Cup ambitions,” he said. 

Since his debut in 2011 Sinckler has managed to rack up 146 appearances for Quins leading to his England inclusion which has not only seen him notch up 31-caps for his country, but he was also heavily involved in the British and Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand in 2017, playing in all three games against the All Blacks. 

His capture is another massive boost for the Bears with the signing of Semi Radradra already announced earlier in the season, and with signings like this fans will be expecting big things from the Premiership outfit come next season.

Premiership

Tigers sign Tongan International

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers have signed Tongan international Hosea Saumaki.

The outside-back will join Tigers ahead of the 2021/22 season after five seasons in Japan, including three seasons representing the Sunwolves in Super Rugby.

In 2012, Saumaki represented Tonga at Under-20s level and on the international Sevens circuit.

The Tongan-born back represented Daito Bunka University in Tokyo before joining Japanese Top League club Canon Eagles in 2017.

A prolific try-scorer, Saumaki finished his debut season in the Top League second on the competition’s try-scorers tally.

The 29-year-old made his Test debut for Tonga against the All Blacks earlier this year, before adding two more international appearances in back-to-back appearances against Samoa in New Zealand.

Speaking about the signing of Saumaki, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Steve Borthwick said: “Hosea is an exciting signing for the club.

“He is a strong, physical and fast outside-back who has shown himself to be a prolific try-scorer in his career-to-date.

“In our conversations with Hosea, we’ve been impressed by his desire to want to be a part of what we are building at Leicester Tigers and are looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”

Discussing his move to Tigers, Saumaki said: “I’ve always wanted to play rugby in the United Kingdom and to get that opportunity at Leicester Tigers is a dream.

“Tigers have a big fan base, who are really supportive of the team and the boys and for me to be a part of that is really exciting.

“I want to get the ball in hand, keep the energy up and score some tries for Leicester; that’s what I like to do, give one-hundred percent for my team mates and the club.”

Saumaki is is Borthwick’s 13th addition ahead of the 2021/22 campaign alongside fellow backs Freddie Burns, Bryce Hegarty, Dan Lancaster, Juan-Pablo Socino and forwards Dan Richardson, Eli Snyman, Marco Van Staden and Francois Van Wyk, as well as four graduates from the Leicester Tigers Academy.

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Premiership

Ulster to play Saracens in Pre-Season doubleheader.

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Photo By John Dickson/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ulster Rugby will get the 2021/22 season underway with home and away pre-season friendlies against Saracens in September. 

The Ulster men will face the five-time Premiership and three-times Champions Cup winners at Kingspan Stadium on Friday 3 September (kick-off 7pm).

The squad will then make the journey to central London for the away clash on Thursday 9 September (kick-off 5pm) at the Honorary Artillery Company. 

This will be the first time the two sides have faced each other since the pool stages of the 2015/2016 Heineken Champions Cup.

Both matches against Sarries, who return to the Gallagher Premiership this season, will act as preparation for Ulster ahead of the newly launched United Rugby Championship, and the challenges they will face in this year’s Heineken Champions Cup.

Admission to the home pre-season friendly on 3 September is included in 2021/22 Season Tickets, as well as access to all home regular season fixtures in the United Rugby Championship and Heineken Champions Cup.

Existing Season Ticket holders have until 5pm this Friday (30 July) to renew their packages, and can do so online at ulsterrugby.com/seasontickets.

New purchasers can ensure they are notified first about new Season Tickets as they become available by registering their interest here.

The availability of match tickets sold individually will be dependent upon available capacity, in-line with government regulations. Further details will be released in due course.

Source – Ulster Rugby

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Premiership

England Coach John Mitchell joins Premiership side

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Wasps are delighted to announce that John Mitchell, currently part of England Men’s senior backroom staff, will be joining the Men’s team coaching set up.

The former Head Coach of the All Blacks has signed a contract with the Club that will see him link up with the squad this season.

Mitchell, England’s Forwards Coach under Sir Clive Woodward from 1997 to 2000, re-joins Wasps having spent time with the Club as an Assistant Coach during the 1999/2000 season.

The 57-year-old’s impressive résumé also includes being United States Head Coach from 2016 to 2017 and two stints coaching Sale Sharks. Mitchell has been in charge of England’s Defence since September 2018.

Men’s Head Coach Lee Blackett said: “We are thrilled to add John to the coaching group for this season. He brings a wealth of knowledge and will only improve our playing department.

“Once we knew John was available, we prioritised getting him back to Wasps.

“Finding somebody of John’s calibre at both an international and domestic level is rare. He fits the profile we have been looking for, adding to our talented group of coaches.

“John’s primary role will be to lead the attack, but his breadth of top-level experience will see him assist on a number of levels. He understands Wasps having worked here before and his passion for the club and improving our players shone through from the start.

“The support from the board in making this happen demonstrates the ambition of this club.”

Source – Wasps Rugby

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