Although no moves as significant as Matt Giteau’s migration north took place, these last two weeks have seen a number of familiar faces say goodbye to their old clubs and hello to pastures new. Dave Walder, Wasps fly half, confirmed he would be leaving the club after five years of service to look into opportunities abroad. To replace Walder, Wasps have brought in Ryan Davies from Exeter and swiped Gloucester’s number ten Nicky Robinson.
Ceri Jones, the Welsh prop of Harlequins, has signed a two year deal with Worcester whilst Quins have managed to signed young centre Tom Cheeseman, who was on loan at the Dragons originally from Bath. Bath have made a splash signing another league convert managing to persuade England rugby league international Kyle Eastmond; he’ll be hoping to follow Shontayne Hape’s success at the Rec.
Sale have made a plethora of good signings bringing in most notably prop Tony Buckley from Munster, Wasps captain hooker Joe Ward and recent England Saxon second row Kearnan Myall from Leeds. After a poor season, Sale have made an concerted effort to strengthen their pack at the cost of losing some high profile backs; Charlie Hodgson will leave for Saracens and Ben Cohen has been told that his contract will not be renewed and faces possible retirement.
Whilst many players have been opting for a new start, many have equally decided to renew deals with their present sides. Bath veteran prop David Flatman agreed to a new three year deal keeping him in the West Country while up north, prop Jon Golding will stay another year with the Falcons and Leeds captain Marco Wentzel will stay another two years in Headingely. Following Exeter’s successful season, Nic Sestaret, Matt Jess and Phil Dollman are just three of a number of Chiefs who will remain for more Premiership action at Sandy Park.
A busy time of year for the business side of rugby, but still many more moves will be made. Who do you think will be next to go? Does your side have any players you’d love them to re-sign?