RFU Championship News


RFU Championship News 29th June 2012


RFU Championship News Friday 29th June 2012

News and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

London Welsh Win Appeal


Season Tickets

A number of clubs’ Season Ticket and Early Bird Offers close today or tomorrow.

Bedford Blues season ticket applications deadline tomorrow www.bedfordrugby.co.uk
Doncaster Early Bird Offers closes today www.drfc.co.uk
Cornish Pirates  Early Bird Offers closes tomorrow http://cornish-pirates.com

Other News

In other news the BBC report that London Wasps have moved closer to a takeover by a consortium led by former player Ken Moss.

Contracts have been exchanged for the sale of the club, with completion expected to take place in mid-July.


London Welsh

London Welsh

London Welsh Win Appeal


London Welsh will play in the Aviva Premiership after winning their appeal against a Rugby Football Union ruling barring them from England's top flight.


Gavin Mairs in the Telegraph writes: An independent appeal panel, chaired by James Dingemans QC, the prosecutor in the Hutton Inquiry, overturned the RFU’s original decision after deliberating over the evidence for two days.

London Welsh submitted a 43-page to the independent three-man appeal panel in London on Thursday. The club were represented by the legal firm Pinsent Mason and barristers from Blackstone Chambers.

The RFU now look set to under take a review of the minimum standards criteria.

Full Story www.telegraph.co.uk

A copy of the Judgement is available on the England Rugby Union message board


Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons Statement

Following today's decision made by an independent panel comprising of James Dingemans QC (chairman), Ian Mill QC and Tim Ward QC to uphold London Welsh's appeal and thus relegate Newcastle Falcons to the Championship, the club comments as follows:-

We are extremely disappointed with the decision and the representations witnessed at the appeal hearing and we will leave our options open as to where we go from here.

In this new era everyone at the club will be committed to delivering a successful future and a first class experience at Kingston Park. After the disappointment of the decision coming out of the appeal hearing in London, we implore the region to get behind the club to prove what a wonderful and passionate region we are for rugby.

Full Statement www.newcastlefalcons.co.uk

London Scottish

London ScottishLondon Scottish have announced  the signing of prop Mark Irish from Bristol Rugby.

The 30 year old is regarded as one of the best front row forwards in the Championship and was named in the 2011/12 Championship Dream XV in the same front row as London Scottish prop Aaron Liffchak.

Irish is looking forward to the new challenge and is impressed with the ambition shown by Director of Rugby Simon Amor and his coaching staff.

Irish said: “I am absolutely delighted. London Scottish is a club with massive ambition, as you can see from the signings this summer. I’m looking forward to it.”

Forwards coach Alex Codling is looking forward to working with Irish and said: “I’m thrilled Mark has signed. He was a key part of a successful scrum at Bristol. I’m looking forward to bringing his experience into the club.”


Plymouth Albion

Plymouth Albion

Tom Cowan-Dickie Agrees Albion Move

Exeter Chiefs forward Tom Cowan-Dickie says he is looking forward to tackling the demands of the RFU Championship again this season after it was confirmed he will be joining Plymouth Albion on dual-registered terms.

The 21-year-old hooker has spent the past two seasons on similar terms with the Cornish Pirates, where he made 15 appearances and scored two tries for the club. Now, though, he is set to follow Exeter club-mates Jack Arnott, Lloyd Fairbrother, Henry Slade and younger brother Luke, all of whom confirmed their moves to the Brickfields earlier this month.

"I'm looking forward to it and hopefully it will be a good move for me," said Cowan-Dickie. "Having spent the past two years down at the Pirates I know what it's like to be around a Championship club and what will be expected of me.

Tom Cowan-Dickie

"Although I didn't play as much as I would have liked at the Pirates, the experience was really good for me as I learnt a lot from the coaches and from people like Dave Ward and Rob Elloway."

As well as getting game time in the Championship, Cowan-Dickie's rugby education was enhanced last season as he was part of Exeter's title-winning Aviva Premiership A League squad, which defeated Harlequins in the final at Sandy Park in April.

And it was an experience the young forward admitted has been key in his progression, he added: "It was great to be part of the A League squad last season. Not only was I getting to play with and against Premiership players, but I was able to develop my game even more with the coaches up here at Exeter and show them what I could do."

Cowan-Dickie, however, is aware that more will be expected of him this season and he hopes his move to Albion will allow him to make further strides.

"Thankfully I've not had too many injuries in the last couple of years, so I'm feeling really fresh and raring to go ahead of the new season," he said. "Being at Exeter for pre-season is going to be good as it will allow me to get a lot of my fitness work done. It will be tough, I know that, but the environment here is really enjoyable, so I just want to get my head down and get ready for the new season.

"As I said, I’m looking forward to going down to Plymouth. The set-up there is very good and having a few of the Exeter boys already in the squad will definitely help me settle in a lot quicker."


Albion have also announced the arrival of Full Back Louis Messer, former University of Wales Cardiff and Bath Academy player.

Messer who starts pre-season training next week has appeared for England students for 3 successive seasons and has represented Somerset in the County Championships.

Messer who starts pre-season training next week has appeared for England students for 3 successive seasons and has represented Somerset in the County Championships.


Rotherham Titans

Rotherham Titans Titans Strengthen Front Row

Titans Rugby are pleased to announce the addition of front row forward Marshall Gadd to their ranks for the 2012-13 Championship season.

Gadd joins the Clifton Lane outfit from fellow Championship side Moseley, where he worked under former Titans Kevin Maggs and Craig West.

Twenty eight years-old English-born Gadd made 17 appearances for Moseley last term and figured prominently in Moseley's end of season resurgence.

Gadd can play either side of the front row but is expected to be competing primarily for the loose head jersey and at 6' 2" and approaching 20 stones; he will no doubt add some bulk to the Titans front row.

His previous clubs include Moseley, Stourbridge, Sale Jets, Manchester, Longton and Utiku (NZ).

Titans' assistant coach Ben Wade said of Gadd's arrival, "We are very pleased to have recruited Marshall, he has experience of playing at this level of rugby and that's a big advantage.

We expect him to fiercely compete for a starting jersey and there's no doubt he will be a great addition to the Titans squad."