We round up the week's latest rumours, signings, and re-signings.
Richie Mo'unga re-signs with New Zealand Rugby until at least 2023
Richie Mo'unga has signed a new deal for New Zealand until next year's World Cup in France. The 28-year-old has also re-committed to the Crusaders and Canterbury.
Mo'unga made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2016, and after a chain of favourable performances, the rising star was re-signed with the club through to the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season, having made 16 Super Rugby appearances scoring 179 points.
Borthwick in pole to be the next England boss
Steve Borthwick has emerged as the clear front runner to take over as England coach from Eddie Jones when he stands down after the World Cup next year, according to The Rugby Paper,
Stormers sign Bok hooker Joseph Dweba
Springbok hooker Joseph Dweba will return to South Africa next season, having signed a three-year deal with the Stormers.
The front row powerhouse has spent the last two years playing in France for Top14 side Bordeaux-Begles and will be back on home soil next season, with his contract taking effect from July.
Will Skelton to leave La Rochelle?
Reports in France suggest that Will Skelton could be playing his final games for La Rochelle.
The stiff competition in the Top 14 this season means that if La Rochelle does not beat Leinster in the Champions Cup final, they could be playing in the Challenge Cup next season. The repercussions of that could lead to star second-rower Will Skelton departing the club as La Rochelle will have to cut their wage bill.
Next weekend is the final round of the regular Top 14 season and La Rochelle go into their clash with Lyon knowing that anything other than a win could see them slip out of the playoff positions.
According to reports, Skelton has drawn interest from Toulon who are in the market for a lock with Eben Etzebeth leaving to South Africa at the end of the season. Toulouse are also searching for a lock with Rory Arnold likely to return to Australia in order to make the Rugby World Cup squad next year.
Results over the next two weeks could decide Skelton's future.
Ntamacks remain at Toulouse
France flyhalf Romain Ntamack has signed a massive deal to remain at Toulouse penning a six-year extension.
He will remain at Toulouse until the end of the 2027/28 season at least taking him right through to the Rugby World Cup in Australia.
His younger brother Theo Ntamack,20, has also re-signed for the Club as the family legacy continues. Theo, back-rower, has represented France u20s and led the Toulouse Academy to the espoirs title. He has signed until 2025 with the Club.
Scrumhalf Martin Page Relo has also penned a new deal til the end of next season.
England looking to lure flyer Grace into code switch
ST Helens try-scoring machine Regan Grace is being lined up for a cross code-switch before the Rugby World Cup next year, according to the Rugby Paper.
The report states that Eddie Jones and Martin Gleeson are both championing Grace and believe he could be the next Jason Robinson.
Grace qualifies for Wales too but reports suggest that five top English clubs are believed to have already shown an interest in the wing, with Sale and London Irish reportedly among them.
Nakarawa courted by Premiership clubs
Reports in France and England have linked Leone Nakarawa with a move to the Premiership.
The Fijian will leave Toulon at the end of the season and according to reports he has no shortage of offers with Exeter Chiefs, Bristol Bears, Worcester Warriors, and Bath Rugby.
Christian Wade draws attention as he approaches a return to rugby
Christian Wade is nearing a return to rugby after failing to nail down a full-time NFL contract. Wade was cut from the Bills' practice squad earlier in the season.
The Rugby Paper reported that the Exeter Chiefs are interested in the winger with Rob Baxter yet to sign a replacement for departing winger Tom O'Flaherty. Bath, Leicester Tigers, Wasps, and Saracens are reportedly interested in the flyer.
Simon Hammersley leaves Sale Sharks to pursue a career outside of rugby
Sale Sharks have confirmed that full-back Simon Hammersley will leave the club and retire from rugby at the end of the current season to pursue a career outside the sport.
The 29-year-old fans favourite, who joined the club from Newcastle Falcons ahead of the 2019/20 season, has played 59 times for Sharks, including 16 games this season.
Western Force confirm retiring trio
The Western Force have confirmed legendary trio Jeremy Thrush, Richard Kahui and Greg Holmes will be retiring at the end of the season. They leave the game having played over 400 games of Super Rugby games.
12 time All Black, Jeremy Thrush ends his career after stints with the Hurricanes, Gloucester, Wellington and the Western Force.
Kahui ends his career having done it all, winning a World Cup on home soil in 2011 before delivering the Chiefs a Super Rugby title in 2012.
Rounding out the list is Holmes, who ends a near two-decade career in Australian Rugby after making his debut with the Reds in 2005. The front rower has made 169 appearances in Super Rugby, becoming the oldest Wallaby since World War II.
George Skivington signs a new long term deal at Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester Rugby have announced that George Skivington has committed his future to Kingsholm having signed a new long term deal with the Cherry and Whites.
The 39-year-old joined Gloucester Rugby in the summer of 2020 as Head Coach and is now coming to the end of his second full season at the helm of the Cherry and Whites.
All Blacks to play Japan?
NZ media reporting - what has been whispered here for some time - that All Blacks are expected to play Japan on their way to Europe for autumn tour.— Rich Freeman (@FreemanrugbyJPN) May 27, 2022
Most likely date Oct. 29.#rugbyjp #rugby pic.twitter.com/QzGVSAck4B
Bristol and Mouneimne partways
Omar Mouneimne has left Bristol Bears by mutual consent, the club confirmed.
The Defence Coach spent two years at Ashton Gate having arrived in July 2020, helping the Bears to a maiden Challenge Cup title and a first placed finish in the Gallagher Premiership in 2021.
Glasgow Warriors sign South African forward
South African forward Sintu Manjezi will be pulling on a Glasgow Warriors jersey next season, after putting pen to paper on a deal that further bolsters the club’s pack ahead of the 2022/23 campaign subject to medical and visa.
The 27-year-old second-rower, who is equally as adept in the back-row, will make the switch to Scotstoun from United Rugby Championship rivals the Vodacom Bulls, joining fellow South African JP du Preez and Tongan international Sione Vailanu – as well as academy graduates Max Williamson, Alex Samuel, Gregor Brown and Angus Fraser - as the new arrivals ahead of the new season.
Ealing build for Premiership bid next season
The Ealing Trailfinders were denied entry into the Premiership next season due to their facilities, however, they haven't given up on repeating their success this season with another Championship title.
Adding to the squad ahead of next season, the Championship side have confirmed the signings of Wales international Jonah Holmes, Loughborough Students forward David Douglas Bridge, highly rated Australian flanker Carlo Tizzano, Ulster prop Ross Kane, Munster hooker Kevin O’Byrne, versatile playmaker Dan Lancaster, Cornish Pirates lock Danny Cutmore, and England U20s and Bath Rugby scrum-half Ollie Fox.
Saracens' fan favourite heads to France
Dragons continue to complete their squad for next season
Scarlets youngsters head to New Zealand, Rogers re-signs
Two of the Scarlets’ talented Academy players have headed to New Zealand to continue their rugby education. Wales U20s centre Eddie James, 19, and prop Sam O’Connor, 20, have linked up with Linwood RFC, who are based in Christchurch on the south island. Scarlets forwards coach and double World Cup winner Ben Franks played at the club and helped set up the three-month move for Eddie and Sam, the club confirmed.
Meanwhile, Tom Rogers has put pen to paper on a new Scarlets contract. The 23-year-old Wales international, who can play wing or full-back, becomes the latest player to re-sign ahead of the 2022-23 season. Rogers made his Scarlets debut in 2017 and has 30 appearances to his name, scoring eight tries.
Bath Rugby announce backroom shake-up
Bath Rugby have confirmed its new rugby structure for the 2022/23 season following an in-season review and subsequent reset.
- Johann van Graan will lead the club’s rugby programme as Head of Rugby
- Stuart Hooper becomes General Manager
- Edward Griffiths leaves his role as Chairman
Hard-hitting Engelbrecht joins Stormers fold
Loose forward Willie Engelbrecht has signed a two-year contract with the DHL Stormers and will join up with the squad in July.
The imposing Engelbrecht featured for the DHL Stormers on loan last year, making a big impression with his physicality on both attack and defence.He joins the likes of Stefan Ungerer and Junior Pokomela in turning a successful loan spell in Cape Town into a two-year contract.
Baptiste Germain off to Biarritz
Rugby Rama reports that Toulouse Baptiste Germain will be loaned to PROD2 side Biarritz next season.
The highly-rated scrumhalf has been deemed surplus to requirements as Toulouse could have five scrumhalves on their books in Antoine Dupont, Martin Page-Relo, Alexi Bales, and incoming Paul Graou. New signing Arthur Retiere can also play in the position with American Damian Morley and Ruben Maka in the academy.
Will Harris re-signs with NSW Waratahs
The NSW Waratahs have announced that backrower Will Harris re-signed with the team for a further year and keeping him in sky blue at least until the end of the 2023 season.
The athletic backrower is currently enjoying a breakout season for the Waratahs in 2022, starting every match of the season bar one, and is currently the team’s leading try-scorer with five tries.
Taina-Fox Matamua signs new Zebre deal
Zebre Rugby Club have announced that Taina-Fox Matamua has penned a new contract with the side.
The New Zealand back rower will stay with the Italian side until 30 June 2024.
Scrumhalf Nicolò Casilio has also re-signed until 30 June 2024.
Will Simonds heads to Australia
Wasps Centre Will Simonds has signed a short-term deal to play for Manly RUFC this summer to compete in the New South Wales Rugby Union Competition.
Simonds, who has played in the Black and Gold shirt three times this season will head to Australia later this week before returning ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.