The latest rumours, player movements and re-signings

The latest rumours, player movements and re-signings

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


Dublin , Ireland - 9 November 2021; Richie Mo'unga during New Zealand All Blacks rugby squad training at UCD Bowl in Dublin. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Steve Borthwick, the Leicester Tigers director of rugby shouts instructions in the warm up during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium on April 30, 2022 in Leicester, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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

South Africa's hooker Joseph Dweba (C) runs with the ball in front of Argentina's openside flanker Facundo Isa (L) during the Rugby Championship international rugby union Test match between South Africa and Argentina at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on August 14, 2021. (Photo by Michael Sheehan / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL SHEEHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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Will Skelton to leave La Rochelle?

La Rochelle's Australian lock Will Skelton passes the ball during the French Top14 rugby union match between Stade Rochelais (La Rochelle) and Stade Francais at the Marcel-Deflandre stadium in La Rochelle, western France on May 21, 2022. (Photo by XAVIER LEOTY / AFP) (Photo by XAVIER LEOTY/AFP via Getty Images)

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 Regan Grace in action during the Betfred Super League match at the Totally Wicked Stadium, St. Helens. Picture date: Thursday August 26, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

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

Leone NAKARAWA of RC Toulon during the Top 14 match between Brive and Toulon at Stade Amedee-Domenech on February 26, 2022 in Brive, France. (Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

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

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Christian Wade of Wasps looks on during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Wasps and Leicester Tigers at the Ricoh Arena on September 16, 2018 in Coventry, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 13: Richard Kahui of the Force looks on during the round 13 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Highlanders and the Western Force at Forsyth Barr Stadium on May 13, 2022 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

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?

 


 

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

NEWPORT, WALES - MAY 16: Jonah Holmes of Dragons during the Guinness Rainbow Cup match between the Dragons Rugby and Ospreys at Rodney Parade on May 16, 2021 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

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

Saracens loosehead prop Richard Barrington will leave the club at the end of the season, to join PROD2 side Agen.
 
 

The loosehead, who has made 220 appearances for the Men in Black in his nine-year spell in North London has been a huge part of the success both domestically and on the European front. 

 

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Lydiate pens new Ospreys deal

Flanker Dan Lydiate has agreed a new deal to stay at the Ospreys for another season. Lydiate is a hugely respected figure at the Ospreys and returned to action towards the end of the United Rugby Championship campaign.

 

Staying with the Ospreys, prop Garyn Phillips has signed a new two-year deal with the regional rugby franchise. Phillips, 21, has signed his first professional contract with the Ospreys and is a graduate of the Ospreys Academy.

 

Saints confirm nine players to leave Club this summer

 

 Hooker Reece Marshall is the longest-serving departee having played at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens since the 2014/15 season, while fellow front-rowers Nick Auterac, Conor Carey and Karl Garside will also be moving on next season.

 

Academy graduates JJ Tonks, Connor Tupai, Josh Gillespie, Ollie Newman and Leroy O’Neil also leave Northampton having all made first team appearances during their tenure at the Club.

Full story

 

Edinburgh sign Hurricanes flyer Goosen

Edinburgh Rugby have completed the signing of Hurricanes winger Wes Goosen who will join the capital club ahead of the 2022/23 season.

 

Goosen, 26 – who was born in South Africa and qualifies for New Zealand through residency – will link up with Mike Blair’s squad this summer following the conclusion of the Super Rugby season.

 

Lions welcome the return of playmaker 

 

The Lions have welcomed the return of playmaker Gianni Lombard from the Red Hurricanes in Japan.

 

The 24-year-old, who represented the Junior Springboks twice at 2017 and 2018's World Rugby Under-20 Championship, is equally adept at flyhalf and fullback and was targeted for that versatility.

 

Speedster Stean Pienaar has also re-signed with the Johannesburg oufit.

 

Jack McGrath Confirmed As One Of Five Departees From Ulster

 

Ulster Rugby have paid tribute to the five Senior Men’s players leaving at the end of this season. There is over 250 Ulster caps worth of experience leaving the Province.

Jack McGrath, Sean Reidy, Ross Kane, David O’Connor, and Mick Kearney all depart Ulster.

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Two Rebels stay in Melbourne

 

The Melbourne Rebels have announced the re-signings of scrumhalf James Tuttle (two more seasons) and back-rower Brad Wilkin (until the end of 2024).

 

Tuttle has been one of the Rebels’ most important players this season, playing twelve matches, making eight starts, while forming an important partnership with the emerging Carter Gordon at the backend of the Super Rugby Pacific competition.

 

Wilkin has been one of the Rebels’ strongest performers this year, playing every match of the Super Rugby Pacific season, leading his side in tackles made (167) and turnovers won (15) while being one of the highest contributors for carries (59) and metres carried (212).

 
 

Tighthead Sefo Kautai re-signs with Brumbies

 

Brumbies Rugby announced that tighthead prop Sefo Kautai has re-signed with the club until the end of 2024.

 

Kautai joined the club as injury cover in 2021 and made his debut against the Western Force mere days after arriving in Canberra.

 

Pearson signs new Exiles deal

 

London Irish have confirmed that Tom Pearson has signed a senior professional contract with the Club. The young back-row forward has made a stark impression with the London Irish first team this year, making 18 appearances in his first season with the Club.

 

The Exiles also confirmed that Will Goodrick-Clarke has agreed a new deal with the Club. The prop, who has been in fantastic form in the London Irish jersey this season, was rewarded with a call up to an England training squad. Goodrick-Clarke has made 57 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign.

 

 Finally, London Irish have beaten Bath to the signing of young Cornish Pirates second-row Ben Scragg according to the Daily Telegraph.

 

Re-signings at Worcester Warriors

Wales international centre Ashley Beck has extended his stay at Sixways by signing a new contract with Warriors. The 32-year-old made his 50th appearance against Northampton Saints at Sixways in January and has now played 59 games and scored eight tries.

 

Warriors’ scrum-half Gareth Simpson has committed his future to the club by signing a new two-year contract. The 24-year-old arrived at Sixways on trial in the second half of the 2018/19 season and was then offered a place on the Three Pears Warriors Academy. He signed his first professional contract two years ago and has now made 47 appearances for Warriors, 23 of them this season.

 

Dragons continue to complete their squad for next season

Dragons have announced a host of re-signings ahead of next season with prop Aki Seiulihomegrown ace Jared Rosser, and forward Huw Taylor committing to the side.

 

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

Full story

 
 

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.

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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.

                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   

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