Daily Round Up – 27/01/2021 – Ruan Ackermann & Aaron Morris
Jordan Taufua Leaves Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers Back Row Jordan Taufua has left Leicester Tigers. He is reportedly set to join French Top 14 club Lyon. He had previously been linked with a move to France, back during the time that Leicester Tigers players were involved in a contract dispute. He ended up staying but it never really got going for Taufua and Tigers.
Andrew Makalio Ruled Out For Super Rugby Season
Crusaders Hooker Andrew Makalio has been ruled out for the entire Super Rugby Aotearoa season. Bay of Plenty hooker Nathan Vella has joined the Crusaders squad as injury replacement for the full 2021 Super Rugby season.
Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson:
“We really feel for Drewza, and we wish him all the best with surgery and his recovery. While he won’t take part in any games this season, Drew is a really important member of our squad and his contribution off the field will be significant. We look forward to connecting with him on his return to Christchurch following surgery.”
Andrea Masi Leaves Wasps Academy Role
Wasps Academy Coach Andrea Masi has opted to join Marco Bortolami and Paul Gustard at Benetton Rugby. Andrea Masi, who won 95 caps for Italy and represented the Azzurri in four Rugby World Cups and 13 Six Nations Championships, retired from playing with Wasps in 2016, but returned to the club as an Academy Coach in 2017.
“I would like to thank Wasps for the opportunities they have given me to start my coaching career, after enjoying my time with the club as a player.
“I have been lucky to play alongside some incredibly talented players, but also learn from all the great coaches I’ve had the pleasure to meet during my time at the club, and more importantly, I’ve made some lifelong friends.
Aaron Morris Signs New Quins Deal
Harlequins Back Three player Aaron Morris has become the latest player to sign a new deal at the club. Morris arrived at The Stoop from London rivals Saracens in 2016, having first come through the ranks at Bedford Blues, where he was their youngest ever debutant in the professional era at the time. Morris has gone on to become an integral part of Harlequins’ senior squad, equally comfortable at wing or fullback.
“Quins has become a massive part of my life, my family’s life. I’m super passionate about the Club. I love the Club and I love the boys. So, to secure my future here for the next couple of years, which I hope will be a really exciting couple of years, I’m super happy to have got done.
“I couldn’t really see myself anywhere else because of how much the Club has come to be part of my life and how much I believe in the group. We have such an exciting, young, very English core, sprinkled with a few great foreign imports. I think this group can really go places and win things.”
Harlequins Attack and Backs Coach Nick Evans said: “Aaron has become a crucial part of the Harlequins squad since he arrived in 2016. His rangy athleticism and versatility at either wing or fullback make him an exceptional back three player in the modern game.
“As a 26-year-old, Aaron is hitting his peak years as a professional athlete and I’m sure he will only continue to add serious quality to our backline.”
Williams Signs New Ospreys Deal
Ospreys Centre Keiran Williams has signed a new two-year deal to stay at the region. The 23 year old academy product has put in some eye-catching displays in recent times and has impressed since making his debut in 2018.
“It was a straightforward decision for me to sign a new contract, it didn’t take long at all and this is somewhere I want to stay and play my rugby.
“Being a boy from the region, it’s great. I still remember my Ospreys debut and it was a surreal moment for me. I am just looking forward to the future now and seeing all the players coming through and you can see how good the Ospreys will be in a couple of years time.
“There have been lots of players who have come through the Ospreys system who have gone onto to have international honours and Lions honours, and that only benefits the Ospreys in the long term.
“I can see the Ospreys getting back to where we were before, it’s not going to be easy and it will be tough and it make take a while but the rewards of what we are doing now will come eventually.”
Ruan Ackermann Signs New Gloucester Deal
Gloucester Rugby Number Eight Ruan Ackermann has signed a contract extension, with the club. Ackermann has been vocal about his desire to play for England one day and will be looking to play a major role in this Gloucester rebuild. Ackermann initially switched to Gloucester Rugby ahead of the 2017-18 season, and the back-row forward has become a prominent figure for the Cherry & Whites, notching up 75 appearances over the last 4 seasons.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to sign a new deal with Gloucester Rugby. This Club has become a huge part of my life in England and the past 4 years, and I am looking forward to being able to share more memories with the love and support of the fans at Kingsholm.
“We are fortunate to have a really gifted squad, and I am excited to keep developing, learning and growing in this environment.”
Elliot Millar-Mills Joins Wasps
Ealing Trailfinders Tighthead Prop Elliot Millar-Mills will join Wasps Rugby, at the end of the season. The 28 year old has been one of the most impressive Props, in the Championships, for the last few seasons. He joins a number of former Trailfinders Props to make the step up to the Premiership. Before joining Greene King IPA Championship outfit Ealing in 2018, the 121kg prop had spells at Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro 14 and Leeds Tykes.
Wasps Head Coach Lee Blackett:
“We are delighted to bring Elliott on board for next season.
“We have been very impressed by his consistent performances in the Championship over the last couple of seasons. We feel he can make the step up to the Premiership and add some strength in depth to our front row options.”
“Wasps is a really exciting club, and I am delighted to be joining a team that is showing so much progression on and off the pitch.
“They have certainly given opportunities for players to come from the Championship and I hope I can add to that.
“I’d also like to thank Ealing Trailfinders for all they have done for me and I am hoping to leave Vallis Way on a high.”