This week's rumours, signings and re-signings
We round up the week's latest rumours, signings, and re-signings.
Bath Rugby have confirmed the departure of a club legend with Semesa Rokoduguni leaving the West Country side at the end of the season. The Fijian-born, England international has made over 190 appearances for the Blue, Blacks and Whites scoring over 70 tries in all competitions.
Jacques du Toit will leave Bath Rugby this summer for Zebre Rugby. The 28-year-old made a try-scoring debut for the Blue, Black and White against Zebre, and has made a further 31 appearances for the club to date.
Ealing Trailfinders have announced the signing of scrum-half Ollie Fox from Bath Rugby ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The Bristol Bears have confirmed their current squad for the 2022/23 campaign.
Pat Lam has offered professional terms to eight members of the national title-winning U18 squad. Eleven players will depart the club, including long-serving duo Alapati Leiua and John Afoa, who will join French Pro D2 side RC Vannes. Dave Attwood makes the switch to Bath while Antoine Frisch has joined Irish province Munster.
Mitch Eadie, Nathan Hughes, Tiff Eden, Niyi Adeolokun, Theo Strang, Joe Cotton and Ashley Challenger will also leave the club at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season. READ MORE
Gloucester are the early front runners in the race to land Zach Mercer with his current deal at Montpellier running out at the end of next season. FULL STORY
Harlequins confirmed that Scotland international Huw Jones will return to Glasgow Warriors at the end of the current season.
Quins' hooker Joe Gray also announced his retirement at the end of the season. The hooker retires having amassed more than 175 appearances for the Club to date over a 12-year career at The Stoop.
Ospreys fly-half Josh Thomas has signed for Newcastle Falcons, joining the Gallagher Premiership club this summer on a two-year deal.
Newcastle also confirmed the signing of Sebastian de Chaves who will return for a second spell, with the experienced lock-forward signing a two-year deal.
Saracens announced the re-signing of winger Sean Maitland. The Scotland and British & Irish Lions winger, who recently made his 100th appearance for the club has been a stalwart at StoneX Stadium since arriving in 2016.
Elsewhere, reports have linked prop Richard Barrington with PRO D2 club Agen by Midi Olympique.
Wasps are looking to secure Jack Willis' services on a long-term basis. FULL STORY
The Premiership club have also confirmed seven departees. Cameron Anderson, Michael Le Bourgeois, James Gaskell, Rob Miller, Pieter Scholtz, Jeff Toomaga-Allen and Marcus Watson will be leaving the Club at the end of the current season.
UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Dragons Rugby announced the major signing of Welsh international prop Rob Evans ahead of the 2022/2023 season.
Also, Argentina international scrum half Gonzalo Bertranou agreed a new contract to remain with the Dragons.
Finally, scrum half Lewis Jones agreed terms on a permanent move to Dragons ahead of the 2022/23 season. Jones joined the region on loan from Welsh rivals Cardiff Rugby earlier this season and has committed his future to the Men of Gwent.
The Dragons have confirme a total of 16 senior players will be leaving the region at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season. The Dragons bid Dan Babos, Dan Baker, Greg Bateman, Mesake Doge, Harry Fry, Tom Griffiths, Jonah Holmes, Owen Jenkins, Josh Lewis, Evan Lloyd, Joe Maksymiw, Will Talbot-Davies, Adam Warren and Max Williams farewell after Saturday’s final URC match of the season with Emirates Lions.
Taylor Davies and Jordan Olowofela will also depart after loan spells. This group of players join Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Tavis Knoyle and Jamie Roberts who all left Rodney Parade earlier in the season. READ MORE
Glasgow announced that Scotland star Huw Jones will be returning to Scotstoun ahead of the 2022/23 season, after the 28-year-old agreed a new multi-year contract. Having initially put pen to paper with the Warriors in the summer of 2017, the former Stormer sits one appearance shy of a half-century in Glasgow colours as he returns to Scotstoun.
The Scarlets have confirmed the player departures for 2021-22 season.
It has already been announced that Liam Williams has signed for Cardiff Rugby and Angus O’Brien is rejoining the Dragons for next season, while James Davies revealed in April that he is retiring from the game on medical grounds.
Rob Evans, Steff Hughes, Tom Phillips, Tyler Morgan and Tomi Lewis will also leave the Welsh side ahead of next season.
The Sharks have continued to build on their squad for next season and beyond with the likes of Siya Kolisi, Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, and Grant Williams all re-signing with the franchise this week.
It was also confirmed that Lionel Cronje will rejoin the Club after another stint in Japan. The Durban-based side have also signed Eben Etzebeth, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Vincent Tshituka, Carlu Sadie, and Nevaldo Fleurs.
Dian Bleuler, Anthony Volmink and Emile van Heerden have also signed contract extensions.
The Italian club confirmed that 10 new players have joined the Parma Academy and will be available to Zebre next season. Riccardo Bartolini, Giacomo Ferrari, Riccardo Genovese and Luca Rizzoli are among the 10.
Zebre also confirmed the signing of South African hooker Jacques du Toit from Bath Rugby.
According to reports in France, Catres are leading the race to sign fullback Boris Goutard from Narbonne.
Perpignan, Biarritz, Mont-de-Marsan and Lyon are in the race to sign the PRO D2 star.
According to a report by RMC Sport, Clermont are looking to sign Toulon centre Julien Hériteau as a potential replacement for Tani Vili who is leaving from Bordeaux.
Clermont are also looking to sign Perpignan and Los Pumas back Bautista Delguy.
17-year-old prop Ateli Tuisamoa is set to join Clermont's academy.
Lyon have confirmed the signing of Highlanders legend Liam Coltman. The hooker brings an end to his twelve-year, and over 135-game, involvement with the Super Rugby side. He has signed a two-year deal with the club.
Kélian Galletier and Mikheil Nariashvili's departures from Montpellier have been confirmed.
The Club have been linked to Blues and All Blacks prop Karl Tu'inukuafe.
Venez nombreux pour leur faire honneur et vivre ce moment avec nous au GGL Stadium ! 🏟️#TEAMMHR 🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/bq44scbfQY— Montpellier Rugby (@MHR_officiel) May 18, 2022
Ahead of the Stormers final regular season match, head coach John Dobson revealed that Springbok fullback is in advance talks with 'a team in France' and it is widely believed that club is Racing 92.
“I know he is in advanced talks with a team in France. We won’t stay in his way. We’ve got plans if that comes off, we have some really good plans around that. Warrick has a lot of responsibilities off the field. If going to France takes less pressure on him, given his service for us, he will go with our blessing." Dobson said.
Racing 92 scrumhalf Mitchell Short has also signed with PRO D2 side Beziers.
Gonzalo Quesada is also looking to add to his coaching ticket with Benetton defensive coach Paul Gustard now linked with the Club. Midi Olympique report that Quesada is looking for two new assistants after overhauling his squad for 2022/23 with nine new player signings.
Australian James Kent has been linked to take the skills coaching role.
The Parisian club have reportedly signed 21-year-old tighthead prop Hugo N'Diaye.
Toulon confirmed eight departures at the end of the season, who the club will pay homage to this weekend.
Anthony Belleau, Louis Carbonel, Théo Dachary, Eben Etzebeth, Leone Nakarawa, Julien Ory, Mike Sosene Feagaï, Lopeti Timani, and Petero Tuwaï will depart RC Toulon this season.
Matthias Halagahu, Mattéo Le Corvec, and Yanis Boulassel all signed contract extensions at Toulon this week.
Toulouse announced the latest addition with Arthur Retiere signing with the Club. He will be reunited with his younger brother Edgar, who has also committed to the Club until 2024. Arthur follows the likes of Italian international Ange Capuozzo, who joins Toulouse from Grenoble next season. Toulouse have also confirmed the arrival of Lyon centre Pierre-Louis Barassi and Perpignan fullback Melvyn Jaminet.
Bordeaux back-rower Alexandre Roumat is also set to join the Club. Toulouse have also announced a host of re-signings for Dorian Aldegheri (2026), Peato Mauvaka (2026), Thomas Ramos (2027), Richie Arnold (2025), Francois Cros (2027), Cyril Baille (2027), Antoine Dupont (2027), and Julien Marchand (2028). Toulouse are set to lose the likes of Maxime Medard (retiring), Joe Tekori (retiring), Paulo Tafili (Lyon), Rory Arnold (released), Antoine Miquel and Zack Holmes (both to Bordeaux).
All Black prop Karl Tu'inukuafe will leave the Blues at the end of the season after three years in Auckland.
He has reportedly signed with French side Montpellier.
The Brumbies confirmed four contract extensions this week.
Nic White, Nick Frost, Andy Muirhead and Luke Reimer have committed their services to the Super Rugby side.
MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY
A bit of @QuadeCooper class in the home stretch of @USMLR 2022.#Giltinis 🍸 pic.twitter.com/f7xavWiQBH— LA Giltinis (@Giltinis) May 20, 2022
The Giltinis have confirmed the arrival of Quade Cooper after his stint in Japan.
The veteran pivot is set to play the rest of the MLR season with the side.
New England Free Jacks
Steven Hinshaw, 26, is back with the Free Jacks after Pieter Jansen's injury.
San Diego Legion
The San Diego Legion have announced the signing of James Hilterbrand for the remainder of the 2022 Major League Rugby season. This is the first domestic contract for the former Eagles hooker, who celebrates his 33rd birthday on Saturday.
Jeffery Steele has joined from Austin.
Old Glory second row David Beach has joined Utah on loan.
Saracens prop Richard Barrington has been linked by Midi Olympique with a move to the PROD2 club.
His signature comes off the back of Chambéry Théo Sauzaret.
Rugbyrama report that Agen are looking to sign Canadian lock Evan Olmstead from Biarritz.
USA hooker Mike Sosene-Feagai has signed a two-year deal through to the end of the 2023-2024 season from Toulon.
Pierre Roussel left the club to join Albi.
South African scrumhalf Shaun Venter will leave Bayonne to join Montauban according to Midi Olympique.
Biarritz have signed Perpignan lock Nafi Ma'afu ahead of next season and have been linked to the signing of Simon Augry.
Benjamin Doy and Clément Jullien have signed contract extension.
The Club has announced the signings of Racing 92 scrumhalf Mitchell Short, Cheetahs hooker Wilmar Arnoldi and centre James Tofa from Bourgoin.
Winger Pierre Santallier will leave the side according to Le Progrès.
Flyhalf Joris Pialot (19) joins the Club from Narbonne.
Tongan center Saia Fekitoa and Tongan second line Daniel Faleafa have been released by the club.