Weekly Round Up

Weekly Round Up

Tongan international Tevita Koloamatangi joins London Irish

London Irish have strengthened their back-row with the signing of Tongan international Tevita Koloamatangi until the end of the season.

Koloamatangi made nine appearances for the Chiefs including an outing in last year's stunning 40-7 win against a touring Wales side, the first time a New Zealand Super Rugby franchise had defeated an international team.

He is capped three-times by his country and could feature in next week's Championship fixture against London Scottish.

Horne signs new three-year contract

Scotland international Peter Horne has signed a new three-year contract with Glasgow Warriors.

The 27-year-old, who can play at stand-off or at centre, will be staying at Scotstoun until at least May 2020.

Josh Strauss ruled out of the 6 Nations with injury

Scotland number 8 Josh Strauss has been ruled out of the RBS 6 Nations Championship after sustaining an injury to his kidney.

The 30-year-old suffered a kidney injury in the France vs Scotland match on Sunday 12 February.

He will now return to his club Glasgow Warriors for further care and a review of the injury will be scheduled in approximately six weeks time.

Adam Beard set to miss the end of season due to injury

Second row Adam Beard is set to miss the end of season run-in due to injury he sustained last Friday night in the Zebre match.

“Adam sustained a significant elbow injury last weekend," commented Medical Performance Manager, Chris Towers. 

"We’ve had it scanned, consulted with elbow specialists at Spire Cardiff and, at this stage he’s looking at a likely lay-off in the region of three to four months.”

Toulon sign Facundo Isa

Toulon have confirmed another big signing by announcing that Facundo Isa will be joining the French side at the conclusion of his current contract with The Jaguares, at the end of this season.

The versatile 23 year old back-rower returns to Toulon having previously been at the club during the 2013/14 season.

The 25-times capped Argentina international will link up with other new signings Chris Ashton, Raphael Lakafia, Semi Radradra, Hugo Bonneval and Filipo Nakosi, who all join the club this season.

Ireland Women's Captain out through injury

The IRFU medical team have confirmed that Ireland Women's captain Niamh Briggs has sustained a hamstring that will see her ruled out for the remainder of the Women's Six Nations. 

A scan on the 57-times capped full-back has confirmed a hamstring injury, ruling Niamh out for the remainder of the Women’s 6 Nations Championship.

Cornal Hendricks joins Bulls for medical and fitness testing

The Blue Bulls have announced that former Springboks and Springbok Sevens winger, Cornal Hendricks, has joined the Bulls for medical and fitness testing.

Hendricks will train with the Pretoria franchise and undergo a number of medical tests and if all results are positive, will possibly join the Bulls for the upcoming Super Rugby season.

The winger, who played Super Rugby for the Cheetahs and scored five tries for the Springboks in 12 tests, has been inactive since a medical condition was diagnosed early in 2016.

Ospreys lose Walker for the season

Ospreys Medical Performance Manager, Chris Towers, has confirmed that Wales and Ospreys winger Eli Walker will be out for the rest of the season due to injury. Walker sustained a foot injury in the Anglo-Welsh Cup win against Cardiff Blues in November and a back injury has delayed his return. 

Towers made this statement concerning Walker:

“The back injury Eli sustained at the end of December has failed to settle and, as a result, the decision has been made to proceed, and manage him, surgically.

“As a result, he will take no further part this season.”

Nonu extends Toulon stay

New Zealand centre Ma'a Nonu has signed a one year contract with French club RC Toulon. His contract will now keep him at the club until June 2018.

Nonu has played for the All Black 103 times and joined Toulon in November 2015 having won back to back World Cups with the All Blacks.

His form has improved this season in France compared to last and has scored three tries in 19 games in all competitions for Toulon. 

Mermoz joins Falcons

Newcastle Falcons have announced the short-term signing of French centre Maxime Mermoz. 

Mermoz has 35 test caps behind his name and has played top flight rugby for over a decade. Hejoins the Flacons on the back of a short-term deal at Leicester Tigers.



Louis-Benoît Madaule joins Toulouse

Toulouse have confirmed that 28-year old Bordeaux-Begles captain, Louis-Benoit Madaule, will be joining them at the end of the season.


Madaule will bring some versatility to the Toulouse pack as he can play in the second and back row. 


Toulouse have added Madaule to the list of players that Zack Holmes (La Rochelle), Antoine Dupont (Castres), Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers) and Charlie Faumuina (Blues).


Lionel Beauxis released from Bordeaux contract

Lionel Beauxis has been released by Bordeaux with immediate effect to join the Lyon, where he signed for the next two seasons from July 1, 2017.

"We have a lot of injuries this season and have been looking for a medical joker a long time ago," said the Lyon team.

''It was clear that we had to seize this opportunity and sign Lionel for the end of the season."

The 31-year-old will participate in his first training next Tuesday at the club.

Damian Welch signs for Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Damian Welch ahead of the 2017-18 season.

His signing comes just a day after Cardiff Blues brought Jack Roberts back to Wales from Leicester Tigers and he is the second second-row to join, following Franco van der Merwe.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to a club which pretty much started my professional career," said Welch.

“It’s great to be heading back and Danny had a big bearing. He was my coach at Cardiff RFC so I’m really excited about working with him again."

The versatile forward came through the ranks at Wales’ Capital Region and worked with Danny Wilson at Cardiff RFC before making his name at the Scarlets.

Schalk Ferreira to skipper the Southern Kings in 2017

Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has announced the side’s team captain for the upcoming Super Rugby season. Davids named the experienced prop Schalk Ferreira as the captain for 2017.

The prop has previously featured for French club, Toulouse, between 2013 and 2015. He also represented the SA Schools team in 2001, SA under-19 and under-21 sides in 2003 and 2004, and also gained a cap in a World XV side in 2014.

The Southern Kings begin their Vodacom Super Rugby clash with an encounter against Argentinean side, the Jaguares, on 25 February 2017.

Tom Brown re-signs with Edinburgh on a two-year deal

Edinburgh Rugby cap centurion Tom Brown has re-signed with the club on a two-year deal, which will see him remain in the capital until at least May 2019.

The 26-year-old signed his first professional contract with the club in 2010, making his debut that same year against Cardiff Blues.

He has since amassed 104 Edinburgh Rugby caps, scoring 85 points through 17 tries.

Jonathan Hill has been banned for two weeks

Exeter Chiefs lock Jonathan Hill has been banned for two weeks after he plead guilty for striking Wasps hooker Ashley Johnson in the Aviva Premiership match between the two. 

“The contact to Ashley Johnson’s head was reckless but caused no injury. In line with the new sanction table Judicial Officers are required to apply a mid-range entry point," said Daniel White, the Judicial Officer. 

Hill was given credit for his guilty plea and clean record and will be available to play again on the February 28.

Saracens sign Tom Lindsay on short-term deal

Saracens have confirmed the signing of former England Saxon hooker Tom Lindsay,29, from Gloucester. Lindsay will provide depth in the absence of Scott Spurling , who has a knee injury and is ruled out for the rest of the season.

Lindsey is a former Wasps player and recently played for London Scottish in the Championship.

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said:

“With Scott Spurling’s injury and having Jamie George away on international duty we’re low on hookers, so we’re very happy to bring Tom into the group. Tom is an experienced Premiership player and he’ll provide quality back up to the likes of Schalk Brits and Jared Saunders.”

Reece Hodge re-signs for Australian Rugby until the end of 2020

Reece Hodge has re-committed to Australian Rugby and the Melbourne Rebels, signing through until the end of 2020.

“There were a few factors in the decision but the young tight knit playing group we have down here (in Melbourne) was definitely one of the reasons why I re-signed with the Rebels,” Hodge said.

“Being a part of the 2016 Wallabies squad with so many new faces felt like the start of our journey towards 2019 and it’s something that I really want to be a part of going forward.

Hodge started nine of his 10 Tests in 2016, notching up two tries as well as two monster penalty kicks from his renowned booming right boot.

Dwayne Peel to join Ulster as Assistant Coach ahead of the 2017/18

Dwayne Peel has been revealed as the latest addition to the Ulster backroom team for next season.

The former Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half has agreed a two-year deal to take up a role as an assistant coach with the province.

Peel made twenty appearances as a player for Bristol, before joining the coaching staff at the beginning of the season.

Kebble set to join Glasgow Warriors

Stormers prop Oli Kebble will join the Glasgow Warriors at the end of the 2017 season on a two-year deal.


The 24-year-old former Junior Springbok made his Stormers debut in 2014 and has since earned 34 Vodacom Super Rugby caps.

He is contracted to Western Province Rugby until the end of the 2017 season and will head to Scotland once he has concluded his commitments in Cape Town.


Sidney Tobias joins Zebre Rugby

South African hooker Sidney Tobias has signed for Zebre Rugby until the end of the 2016/17 season from Griquas Rugby.

Tobias made his debut for Griquas in the 2012 season against the Eagles in George.

He was included in the Western Province's squad for the 2009 Vodacom Cup but didn't make any appearances.

Greig Laidlaw ruled out of 6 Nations with ankle injury

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations with an ankle injury.

A scan confirmed that he sustained ligament damage midway through the first-half of last week's encounter with France.

The 58-times capped scrum-half will see a specialist later this week.

Jack Roberts joins Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Jack Roberts from Leicester Tigers for the 2017/18 season.

The Welsh centre has enjoyed rich form at Leicester but returns back to Wales to further his career with Cardiff.

“I’m really looking forward to joining Cardiff Blues. It’s an exciting place and I’ve taken a big interest in their games this season."

Roberts will add depth and compete with Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Garyn Smith and Harri Millard for a centre spot next season.

Trio join Chiefs as injury cover

The Chiefs have brought in prop Aidan Ross, scrum-half Jonathan Taumateine as injury replacements for Mitchell Graham and Brad Weber respectively. Matiaha Martin joins the squad as the Chiefs add some depth at lock ahead of Super Rugby.

Aidan Ross is a 21 year prop who joins from Bay of Plenty, meanwhile Johnathan Taumateine, 20, and Martiaha Martin join from Counties Manukau.

Glasgow trio to leave at the end of the season

Glasgow Warriors can confirm that Gordon Reid, Josh Strauss and Mark Bennett will leave the club at the end of the season.

"Although there is a lot of rugby still to be played this season, I’d like to acknowledge and thank Gordy, Josh and Mark’s invaluable contributions since they joined the club.," commented head coach Gregor Townsend.

 "We look forward to them ending their time at the Warriors with the same commitment and skill they have shown already this season and wish them well in the next stages of their careers.”

Loose-head prop Reid joined on a full-time basis ahead of the 2011/12 season, after representing Ayr in the BT Premiership. The 29-year-old Scotland international has gone on to make 109 appearances for the club.

Back-rower Strauss joined the Warriors in September 2012 from South African Super Rugby side, the Lions.

While Bennett, who will join Edinburgh Rugby, made his Glasgow Warriors debut against Leinster in May 2011, before the centre re-joined the Warriors in 2012 after a short spell with French side Clermont Auvergne.

Jamie Heaslip signs new IRFU contract

The IRFU and Leinster have announced that Jamie Heaslip has signed a new IRFU contract which will see him play his rugby in Ireland until the end of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"Jamie has been a crucial part of Leinster and Irish Rugby for the last decade and I am delighted that he has committed his long term future to the club," Leinster CEO Mick Dawson.

"As a captain, as a vice-captain, as a player, he sets the standard for others to follow and he is an inspiration to the younger players coming through the Sub-Academy and Academy at Leinster."

Jamie made his Ireland debut in the 61-17 win over the Pacific Islands in November 2006.  The 33 year old has won 93 caps for Ireland scoring 13 tries and has started 36 of Ireland's last 41 Test matches.

His most recent appearance for Ireland was in Saturday's 63-10 victory over Italy in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Rob Kearney set for spell on the sidelines

Rob Kearney's arm injury looks set to rule him out of the rest of Ireland's 6 Nations campaign, the Leinster full-back requiring surgery on a damaged bicep.

Kearney was forced off in the second half in Rome following Ireland's 63-10 victory over Italy.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was confident that the 30-year-old would not be ruled out of action for long.

"Rob got a bruise on his bicep, just with awkward contact," "A couple of days should see him right."

According to the Irish Independent, the injury is worse than feared, and Kearney is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

Freddie Burns to join Bath as George Ford leaves at the end of the season

Bath have announced the return of Freddie Burns as George Ford is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Since his arrival in 2014, Burns has played over 60 times for Tigers scoring over 1 000 Premiership points. He has earned 5 England Test caps scoring 57 points.

The club also confirms the departure of England fly-half George Ford who will leave to join Premiership side Leicester Tigers at the end of the season.

Ford has over 80 caps for Bath scoring over 920 points, as well as 32 Test caps for England scoring more than 150 points.

Bristol confirm signing of Steven Luatua

Bristol Rugby have confirmed that All Black back rower Steven Luatua has agreed terms with the club.

Luatua, who can also play in the second row, has made over sixty Super Rugby appearances for the Blues, and 15 Test appearances for the All Blacks between 2013 and 2016.

Israel Dagg commits to New Zealand

All Blacks outside back Israel Dagg has confirmed that he has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby, the Crusaders and Hawke’s Bay Magpies through to 2019.

“There’s no doubt that there were some attractive offers to consider,” Dagg said, “but at the end of the day I love my life here in New Zealand with my family, friends and team mates and I’m not ready to give that up.

"I still feel blessed every time I pull on the jersey for the All Blacks, Crusaders or Magpies so I consider it an honour to be able to keep working hard to earn that right for the next three years,” he concluded.

Dagg is All Black No 1101 and has played 61 Tests for the All Blacks, scoring scored 128 points. 

Taniela Tupou receives two-week ban for head butting

'Tongan Thor' has been given a two-week suspension for head butting Liam Messam at the Brisbane Tens.

"The judicial officer determined the event was a red card event," a statement read.

"Tupou accepted a head contact occurred. The decision was a lower entry level (four weeks), discounted 50% for an unblemished playing record and extenuating circumstances in the incident, hence two weeks."

He is suspended up to and including all matches until February 25.

Mujati signs for Ospreys

Ospreys Rugby have announced the signing of former South Africa tight head prop Brian Mujati on a short term contract.

Mujati’s first Springbok cap came in June 2008, when he started for South Africa in a 43-17 win over Wales in Bloemfontein. He won a total of 12 caps that year, also featuring in a 20-15 defeat of Wales at the Millennium Stadium, before opting to move north the following year, signing for Northampton Saints in 2009.

Jono Kitto signs new Leicester Tigers deal

Scrum-half Jono Kitto has agreed new terms with Leicester Tigers to stay beyond the end of this season.

"I've felt very honoured to be part of a club as prestigious as the Leicester Tigers and to be able to represent what the club stands for as often as I have is great. I was very happy to agree a new contract and remain part of that,” said Kitto.

The 24-year-old Kitto, who is English qualified, joined Tigers in the summer of 2015 and has made 24 first-team appearances, including Saturday's Premiership win over Gloucester Rugby at Welford Road.

Mike Fitzgerald agrees new contract at Leicester Tigers

Versatile forward Mike Fitzgerald is the latest member of the Leicester Tigers squad to agree new terms on extending his stay with the club.

The 29-year-old Fitzgerald joined Tigers in the summer of 2015 and has made 44 appearances playing at lock and flanker, scoring four tries.

Brendon O'Connor commits to Tigers

Back-row forward Brendon O'Connor has agreed new terms to extend his stay with Leicester Tigers.

The 27-year-old flanker arrived at Welford Road in the autumn of 2015, scoring a try on his debut in a European Champions Cup win over Stade Francais, and has now made 29 appearances for the club.

Jono Gibbes to become Ulster Head Coach

Ulster Rugby has today announced that Jono Gibbes will join the Province as Head Coach ahead of the 2017/18 season, having signed a two-year contract.

The former New Zealand player is currently Forwards Coach at French giants Clermont Auvergne and he previously held a similar position at Leinster Rugby.

Simmonds signs new Chiefs deal


Exeter Chiefs forward Sam Simmonds has signed a new two-year deal with the Premiership club.

The Chiefs academy product has spent time on a dual registration deal at Championship side Cornish Pirates this year.

He will make his first Premiership appearance for Exeter against Wasps on Sunday.

Harlequins sign former Exile Ryan Hodson

Harlequins can announce today that former London Welsh flanker Ryan Hodson has joined the Club with immediate effect as short-term injury cover for the back row.

Confirming the news Harlequins Director of Rugby, John Kingston said: “Due to the combined injuries to Luke Wallace and Chris Robshaw, and Jack Clifford’s commitments with England, we need some short-term cover in the back-row area.

“We are lucky to be able to bring someone of Ryan’s experience and leadership qualities at such short notice. I look forward to seeing the impact he will make during his time with us.”

Hodson, who joined London Welsh in 2015 from Jersey, captained the Exiles to the British and Irish Cup title in 2016 and made a total of 38 appearances.

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