Daily Round Up – 02/02/2021 – New Deal For John Mitchell
Wasps Prop Jack Owlett Joins Worcester Warriors
Worcester Warriors have signed Wasps and former Exeter Chiefs Tighthead Prop Jack Owlett. The 26 year old is a formeer Scotland Under 20s International and a big unit to act as the cornerstone of a scrum. Owlett joined Wasps in the summer of 2019 and will make the short move across the Midlands during the summer as Warriors’ second signing for next season following Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe, who will arrive at Sixways from Edinburgh.
Wasps Head Coach Lee Blackett:
“I would like to say a thank you to Jack for all his effort during his time at the club, we wish him all the best for his future career.”
Zach Mercer Departure Confirmed & Jaco Coetzee Joins Bath
Bath Rugby have confirmed that Zach Mercer will be leaving the Club at the end of the season and will join TOP14 side Montpellier, with exciting South African No.8 Jaco Coetzee joining the Blue, Black and White in March. Mercer has made the tough decision to head abroad and put himself out of International contention, with England. Mercer has been largely overlooked by Eddie Jones, but is one of the best and most consistent Number 8s in the Premiership. He has stated his long held desire to play in France and he is young enough to make another tilt at England, at a later date.
Jaco Coetzee is a powerful, hard runnning Number 8 and will add an abrasive edge to this Bath pack. The 24-year-old forward has spent much of his career in South Africa, most recently with Super Rugby side, The Stormers. The No.8 made his debut in 2017, the same year he helped Western Province to Currie Cup glory.
“It has been a long-standing dream of mine to play in France – the game is physical and will suit my playing style. I feel like I am able to offer the TOP14 something different and that is what I am looking forward to.
Ollie Griffiths Signs New Dragons Deal
Dragons and Wales Flanker Ollie Griffiths has signed a new deal with the region. The deal is undisclosed, but will be welcome news to Dragons fans. Griffiths earned one cap, in 2017, but a string of injuries have hampered his development.
Dragons Director Of Rugby Dean Ryan:
“We’re delighted he’s chosen here to continue to develop,”
“He’s coming along really well (from injury), he ran at the weekend. It’s a surgical intervention so we’ve had to take our time.
“When you see a player like Ollie have such a huge impact on games in such a dynamic way, then you really start to understand the level he is capable of playing at.”
Tigers Agree Taufua Early Release
Leicester Tigers have agreed terms with Jordan Taufua, allowing the back-rower an early release from his contract to take up an opportunity in France. The release was subject to a successful completion of a two-part medical, which has now been completed. Taufua made 18 appearances for Leicester since debuting in November 2019 and scored three tries. The 28-year-old joined Tigers from New Zealand side Crusaders in Super Rugby in the opening weeks of the 2019/20 season.
Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick:
“Jordan is a talented, experienced player and we are grateful to him for what he has given to Leicester Tigers during almost 18 months at the club,” said Borthwick.
“Supporters and people outside of the environment see a very small part of what goes on each week and Jordan has brought energy, enthusiasm and experience to our club at a crucial time while we re-shape our squad, which we will be better off for having had at Tigers.
“We all wish Jordan well in his next chapter as a player.”
Ospreys James King Retires
Ospreys backrower James King has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect. The 11-times Welsh capped international made his Ospreys debut in 2009 and is sixth on the all-time appearance list for the regional franchise. King has been dogged by a shoulder injury and has taken the decision to retire on medical advice. The 30 year old has played all his rugby at the Ospreys and made 203 appearances, scoring seven tries during his career at the Liberty Stadium.
Dino Lamb Signs New Harlequins Deal
Harlequins Lock and Back Row Forward Dino Lamb, is the latest player to sign a new deal, at the club. A product of the Harlequins Academy, Lamb re-signs having first arrived at The Stoop ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, making his senior debut later that season against Northampton Saints and scoring his first try against Worcester Warriors in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Lamb has since gone on to make 36 appearances for the Club, establishing himself as a key player within the senior playing group.
“I’m really pleased to have re-signed with the Club. This is where I wanted to be. I love this club and always have. This is what I always wanted, from joining the Club’s academy at a young age.
“As coaches, Adam Jones and Jerry Flannery have made big impacts on my development, and I’m excited to continue learning from them.
“I’m also grateful for the opportunity to keep learning from the likes of Stephan Lewies and Matt Symons, who are two experienced second rows that lead from the front.”
Ealing Trailfinders Bring In Johannes Jonker
Ealing Trailfinders have made another huge signing. They have signalled their intent, once again, by signing South African Prop Johannes Jonker. The tight-head prop joins from the Lions in South Africa, having made over 50 appearances for them in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup. The 26-year-old, who is 6ft 1” and weighs 118kg started his rugby career with the Border Bulldogs in East London where he played in the Currie Cup before signing for the Lions in Johannesburg. He has been with the Lions for five years, however the prop spent the 2017/18 season in the Top 14 with Montpellier where he made nine appearances in the French top flight.
“Firstly I would like to say thank you to Ealing Trailfinders and everyone involved for the faith they have in me and giving me the opportunity to do what I love! I am very excited to be doing it for a club that has a great history behind its name.
Leading up to my trip here, Ealing Trailfinders have made my experience so pleasurable as they are such a great and helpful team. Even during these trying times of the current pandemic, the club has gone above and beyond to cater for me. It has not been an easy road but through all their efforts I am extremely grateful.
Most importantly I am really looking forward to continuing my career here, meeting the amazing supporters when the opportunity presents itself and helping in any way possible to achieve their goals. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.”
John Mitchell Signs New England Deal
England Defence Coach John Mitchell has signed a new deal until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. He has earned plaudits for his work with the Defensive set up, since taking up the role. Since joining the England set-up, in 2018, the 56-year-old has helped guide the team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final and the 2020 Guinness Six Nations title
“I’m really happy to sign this contract extension. I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here with England and working with such a talented group of players, coaches and staff.
“It takes a long time to really build these relationships and I wanted to continue to carry on the work that we’re all doing to achieve just what we’re capable of here with England.
Scarlets Sign Sale Sharks Prop John
Scarlets have moved to bolster their squad for the 2021-22 season with the signing of prop WillGriff John from Sale Sharks. John has been with the Sharks for the last four seasons, with his impressive form in the Gallagher Premiership earning him a call-up to Wales’ Six Nations squad last year. After starting out with Pontypridd in the Welsh Premiership, John began his professional career with Cardiff Blues and has had spells with Doncaster Knights in the English Championship and with New Zealand provincial side Northland. He was also part of Wales U20s’ squad at the 2012 Junior World Championships.