RFU Championship Friday News Round Up
Friday 8th July 2011
Diccon Edwards says Leeds Carnegie want to make two more signings before kicking-off their Championship campaign.
The new Leeds head coach is targeting a scrum-half and a loosehead prop.
Following last season’s relegation from the Aviva Premiership, South African scrum-half Scott Mathie joined Sale Sharks, while former Wasps and Wales international Warren Fury also left the club.
The departures of the experienced duo has left only academy graduate scrum-halves Dan White and Craig Hampson in the ranks.
Edwards said: “We are still looking for a couple of positions at loose-head prop and scrum-half to provide a challenge for the players that we have got.
“We are going to have Dan White and Craig Hampson (at scrum-half) who are academy products and we are very happy with how they have performed so far.
“We recognise their development needs and are supporting them in that but equally by the nature of the position, we need three players so we are actively looking for the right person who can challenge them and support them to bring them on.
“In the short term, they are the two signings we are looking for. If we got those two players before the start of the season I would be happy where we are at going into the season.”
Despite the youthful look to their backline, Edwards says there are not necessarily any plans to bring in an experienced head at No 9 to direct the youngsters.
“In my role with the Under-20s (at the Junior World Championships), I have seen that age isn’t necessarily a limiting factor,” said Edwards, who plans to build a youthful team to attempt to return to the top flight.
“The maturity shown by some of our young players in training over the last three weeks demonstrates that they have leadership qualities, they are prepared to demand standards, they are prepared to organise senior players.
“So age is definitely not a limiting factor for us.”
Full Story www.yorkshirepost.co.uk
Steve Pape has signed for London Scottish from Rosslyn Park. The physical 2nd-rower has signed a one year deal with Scottish, and expects to be challenging for a first XV shirt at the start of the new season.
"I have always wanted to sign Steve Pape" said Simon Amor.
"I have followed his career for a few years, and always admired his agression and physicality. He is exactly the sort of player that we want in our squad: a good, honest, hard player."
Pape is originally from the West Country, and previously represented Launceston and Newbury Blues.
He was also a starting second row during the England Counties XV match against Ireland during the 2010/2011 season, lining up alongside Scottish's Josh Brown in the pack.
London Welsh have signed record-breaking fly half Alex Davies from Plymouth Albion.
The 25-year-old, who can also play full back, broke one Albion record and equalled another during a tremendous season at Brickfields last year, on his way to racking up 236 points in 25 Championship appearances.
Davies kicked a record-breaking seven penalties in Plymouth’s 35-24 relegation play-off victory over Birmingham & Solihull, having earlier in the season equalled the club’s record for most points in a league match by scoring 26 points against the same opposition at Damson Park.
He fell just short of the Chris Atkinson’s record for the most league points scored in a season, but was still only the third Albion player since the club were promoted back into English rugby’s second tier in 2002 to score over 200 points in a season.
Davies began his career at Sale Sharks Academy, where he spent two years before joining Waterloo RFC in National League One.
He ended his second season at Waterloo by helping the club win the Lancashire Cup for the seventh time, with a 30-19 win over Sedgley Park.
Davies joined Plymouth Albion in 2008, although a hernia operation restricted him to just 12 appearances in his debut season.
In 2009/10 his haul of 87 Championship points saw him voted Most Promising Young Player by the club’s supporters.
He spent the summer of 2010 in New Zealand under the stewardship of former Brickfields coach Brett McCormack at Green Island Rugby Club in Dunedin, and it clearly proved a beneficial experience judging by his performances last season.
It was the second time Davies had spent a summer in New Zealand. In 2006 he was top scorer for North Otago, where he played inside all Black Ben Smith, with 115 first-class points.
Davies has also represented England Counties.
“The first goal for Welsh is to get promoted and for me personally I just want to play and help the team in any way I can,” said Davies.
“It’s also a really good opportunity to learn from someone like Gordon Ross and for me to develop as a rugby player.
“Last season was pretty positive for me. I really enjoyed it and had some good success with the boot.
“We were pretty unlucky as a team – we lost a few games in the last few minutes. So it was a bit of a difficult season for Plymouth, but when it got into the relegation play-offs we put a few performances together.
“In my first two seasons at Plymouth I only played a handful of games, so to get near enough to a full season and kick as well as I did was really pleasing for me and I just want to continue that and develop."
Full Story www.london-welsh.co.uk
KEVIN Maggs has promised Moseley are searching for front-row reinforcements after being left short by the loss of two experienced props.
Terry Sigley ’ s decision to move to French outfit Dijon and Nathan Williams ’ return to his homeland to play with Dragons had left Mose with just the versatile Craig Voisey.
Colin Quigley has since joined from Rotherham but Maggs has revealed the search for ‘‘ one or two ’’ other options is ongoing and will, he hopes, reach a conclusion soon.
“ We are actively looking, ” Maggs assured fans.
“ We have had three players come and train with us that we have had a look at.
‘‘ We have signed Colin Quigley, who can play both sides, we have another guy coming on trial next week and we are meeting with someone later this week.
“ We are fully aware about the situation and we are addressing it. Things are happening but we have just not been able to get anything concrete sorted yet.
“ You cannot play in this league without a front five and all the front-row boys we have got are working hard but we do need one or two to come in. Hopefully, there ’ ll be an announcement pretty soon. ”
Maggs also revealed Chevvy Pennycook could miss the first month of the season after having surgery to repair a shoulder injury.
Maggs confirmed Dai Bishop will not be returning to Moseley having opted to sign for Neath while Andy Borgen has returned to South Africa after two years at Billesley Common.
Full Story www.birminghampost.net
Nottingham Rugby have added former Plymouth Albion fly half Kieran Hallett to their squad for the 2011/2012 Championship season on a one-year contract.
The 26-year-old, who is comfortable at both centre and fly half, has also represented Ireland U21s in the World Cup and at U19 level.
"Kieran gives us added quality and depth in a key position," said the Green and Whites director of rugby, Glenn Delaney.
"With James Arlidge at the World Cup, we need a strong fly half from the outset and I know Kieran is going to provide this."
Born in Kettering, Hallett is 5'11". His former clubs include Bedford Blues and Ulster.
Albion have been busy in the news this week.
On Monday the announced the signing of experienced prop Rob Dugard from Birmingham Solihull.
Dugard is an experienced Championship player both with Birmingham and also Coventry, where he played with Albion's vice-captain and back-row forward Aaron Carpenter.
The powerfully-built Dugard, who hails from Camelford, began his career at Bath before joining Chippenham, Coventry and then Birmingham.
Dawe announced himself as an admirer of Dugard's front-row qualities, a position the Albion chairman of rugby has needed to strengthen since he lost George Porter to Worcester Warriors in the summer.
"We are pleased to have a player of his experience and quality aboard.
"Rob is a strong player who has also demonstrated he has the requisite desire and hunger that we want in players at Brickfields.
"I'm very pleased he has agreed to join us."
On Wednesday Dawe said: "We're looking at Steve Johns and Sam Hocking returning and being back with us this season, and Dave Morton as well.
"It's just a matter of completing the paperwork."
The signatures were confirmed on Thursday when Dawe has expressed his regret about losing points machine Alex Davies to London Welsh.
Albion have two months to prepare for their first league game of the season, at home to Esher on September 3.
Last season Dawe's team boasted the fifth meanest defence in the Championship, but, on the other side of the ball, the least potent attack.
Dawe said: "We would love to control games with the ball and not with defence. But that's
"It's about getting a balance. We need a super fit team with physicality to be able to do that.
"The opposition are very physical in this league. Back rows and centres are all good at turning the ball over if you give them opportunities.
"We've been very good in the past at controlling games with defence and holding people at bay.
"Hopefully, we'll have some pace this season, but anybody putting a rugby team together knows it's about balance.
Dawe is now set to see at least 13 players from last season's squad return in 2011/12, alongside, so far, 12 new faces.