10 Best signings of The season....

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10 Best signings of The season....

Post by kk20gb30 » Sat Dec 25, 2021 6:27 pm

..According to The Daily Mirror (for those at a loose end):

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/rugby-un ... s-25614040
Seemingly heading rapidly toward senility .....Not long or far to go now , in fact, getting worse daily.....

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Re: 10 Best signings of The season....

Post by fentiger » Sat Dec 25, 2021 6:31 pm

Alternative view in the Telegraph concerning just the Premiership:

Approaching the midway point in the Gallagher Premiership season, Telegraph Sport looks back at each Premiership club's off-season recruitment to see which signings have already made significant impacts.

Bath: D’Arcy Rae (Glasgow)
Slim pickings. Danny Cipriani’s arrival hasn’t worked, so far anyway, while South African No 8 Jaco Coetzee who the club hoped would replace Zach Mercer has been through a torrid time with injury, while Joe Simpson has added some experience at scrum-half during Ben Spencer’s time out with injury. The most consistent operator has been Rae, backing up England tighthead Will Stuart with eight league appearances so far including a couple of starts, filling the gap left by Christian Judge’s move to Worcester.

Bristol: Fitz Harding (academy)
Having kept recruitment to a minimum last season seeking only to add depth to an already talent-filled squad - don’t forget Bristol topped the league last season - Bristol’s best new addition may well have come from their academy. Five starts at No 8 for the 22-year-old Harding so far this season have shown that he’s a strong ball-carrier and a promising prospect. Sam Jeffries has been a useful addition while Ioan Lloyd (also promoted from the academy) and Tom Whiteley offer good depth in other positions.

Exeter: Josh Iosefa-Scott (Waikato)
A serious mountain of a tighthead at 6ft 4in, Exeter signed Iosefa-Scott and Sam Nixon to fill the gap left by the departure of Tomas Francis to Ospreys. Iosefa-Scott, the big New Zealander, has stood out so far, battling with England international Harry Williams for the number three shirt and making three Premiership starts, scoring a first try against Bath. Otherwise Irish centre Sean O’Brien is yet to feature in the league while Nixon, formerly with Bath, has featured at times.

Gloucester: Ben Meehan (unattached)
Plenty to pick from. Gloucester are starting to see the best of Adam Hastings at fly-half now he’s settled in. Harry Elrington looked an excellent pick-up at the start of the season, making multiple starts before dropping to the bench behind Val Rapava Ruskin, while Andrew Davidson at one point was Gloucester’s only fit lock and has played well. But Meehan, who left London Irish before the end of last season, has been a hit with the Gloucester coaching staff, starting every Premiership game so far.

Harlequins: Jack Walker (Bath)
Adam Jones, the Harlequins assistant coach, summed up Walker’s impact at Harlequins last week when he said: “We probably have got a much better rugby player than we thought.” The former England under-20 captain has kicked on since leaving Bath - only Newcastle’s George McGuigan has hit more lineouts this season in the Premiership - with Walker starting every game for Quins this season in the Premiership and Champions Cup. Tommaso Allan has deputised well for Marcus Smith and Huw Jones adds good depth.

Leicester: Marco van Staden (Bulls)
Full-back/fly-half Bryce Hegarty and wing Hosea Saumaki have impressed in recent weeks, with Eli Snyman adding more bulk to Leicester’s strong second-row unit. But Van Staden is a fascinating addition, not only because he can cover flanker and No 8, coming off the bench in the last two Champions Cup games, but mainly due to the Springbok pushing talented young flanker Tommy Reffell hard for the starting openside flanker berth in Leicester’s back row. Difficult ball-carrier to bring down and a turnover threat too.

London Irish: Kyle Rowe (Edinburgh)
Irish’s off-season recruitment was outstanding. Marcel van der Merwe has been an upgrade at tighthead, Benhard Janse van Rensburg is now a starter in midfield, Ben White and Rory Jennings have pushed Nick Phipps and Paddy Jackson hard and Tom Pearson, the young flanker, looks a talented prospect. Even Olly Cracknell, recently signed at No 8, has stood out. Rowe however has been electric, the former sevens player showing impressive pace and footwork, scoring five Premiership tries so far this season.

Newcastle: Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Max Wright, on loan from Bath, has stood out in a couple of starts and there’s more to come from Nathan Earle too, while Richard Palframan has added good depth at tighthead. But the headline addition was always Brown at full-back, who brings up 250 Premiership appearances on Boxing Day. He’s in the top 10 for defenders beaten in the Premiership this season, scored on debut against Saracens and after six starts is now locked in at full-back for the rest of the campaign.

Northampton: Courtnall Skosan (Lions)
There is so much potential in young back-row Juarno Augustus, with eight appearances so far and a brace of tries recently against Bath, while Tommy Freeman, promoted from the academy, looks some prospect either on the wing or at full-back with England taking notice. But while Northampton knew they were signing a serious finisher in Skosan, he’s still been off to a blazingly fast start with seven tries in five Premiership games so far, which leaves Skosan only one try behind league-leading Max Malins.

Sale: Nick Schonert (Worcester)
Sale kept their recruitment brief and focussed on the front row, bringing in a couple of props in Nick Schonert and Simon McIntyre plus Tommy Taylor at hooker, with Taylor recently returning to the matchday squad after a shoulder injury. Of that trio Schonert has probably made the biggest impact, getting more starts at tighthead for Sale than experienced Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen so far this season. Good performances for Sale could lead to Schonert working his way back into the England picture.

Saracens: Ivan van Zyl (Bulls)
Saracens have an interesting prospect in Theo McFarland, the lock who made his Samoa debut earlier this year, and Italy international Marco Riccioni made a bright start to his time with the club before suffering a knee injury which has brought his season to a premature end. Seeking to add depth at scrum-half Saracens added USA’s Ruben de Haas and the South African No 9 Ivan van Zyl, with the latter, despite a four-match suspension earlier in the season, now pushing Aled Davies hard for the starting scrum-half spot.

Wasps: Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes)
Hit hard by injuries for so much of this season, Wasps did add an instant starter at lock in Elliot Stooke and have once again had excellent value out of two signings from the Championship in loosehead Robin Hislop and hooker Dan Frost, with Frost lively in particular. But hopes were always high for former All Blacks forward Vaea Fifita and he has delivered so far, making eight starts in the Premiership with a couple of tries, cantering over recently against Worcester.

Worcester: Christian Judge (Bath)
Willi Heinz and Owen Williams, Worcester’s new half-backs, got off to roaring starts at Sixways before being hit by injuries. Rory Sutherland and Duhan van der Merwe are only going to offer more in the second half of the season - three tries for Van der Merwe already - while Scott Baldwin, Matt Garvey and Sione Vailanu have been regular starters. But perhaps the best contribution has come from Christian Judge, making nine starts and nailing down that tighthead berth. Getting Heinz and Williams back feels paramount.

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