Ever since Saracens were automatically relegated to the Championship for the 2020/21 season, the consensus has been that their promotion back to the Premiership is a foregone conclusion. However, with Ealing Trailfinders leading the way with an impressive recruitment drive, other clubs are now also looking to make life uncomfortable for the 2019 Gallagher Premiership champions.
London Scottish are the latest to announce some eye-catching recruits, new director of rugby Matt Williams revealing that he has signed Fred and Brian Tuilagi, sons of Freddie Tuilagi, the ex-Leicester and Samoa player, and nephews of current England international Manu.
Aged 26, Brian Tuilagi can play anywhere in the pack back five and he has joined London Scottish from Italian Top 12 team Mogliano following a circuitous career that has involved two seasons at Dax, stints in the Leicester and Newcastle academies and an Anglo-Welsh Cup appearance for Saracens against Leicester in February 2017.
Younger brother Fred, 23, also joins Scottish from the Italian Top 12, the No8 having been at Colorno after coming through the Leicester system and debuting for Tigers in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in November 2016 at Bath.
“It’s a blessing that our family have had the success that they have had,” said Brian on the London Scottish website after the signings were confirmed. “We’re very proud of our family and what they have achieved over the years. Hopefully, we can soon replicate some of what they have accomplished.
??Check out our new duo signing in action!
— London Scottish Rugby (@LSFCOfficial) June 17, 2020
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the English system and showcasing what I have learnt in the last three years in France and Italy… it’s already a good start when you don’t have to learn a new language. Signing together with Fred for this season is special. It’s a blessing to play the game you love, but to have the opportunity to do it with your brother is something I’m very grateful for.”
Fred added: “We’re both competitive, but we will both be pushing each other to become better players. It’s always been a dream to play on the same side and we are over the moon for the opportunity.”
Scottish boss Williams said: “I’m beyond excited to work with Fred and Brian. They play slightly differently in style, but will massively complement each other and still carry the physicality you’d expect from a Tuilagi in defence and with ball in hand.
“With the added spice of the boys finally getting to play in the same team I can’t wait to see them drive each other on to produce excellence. They will bring a real physical threat to our pack.”
'When I took over I had to Google where these clubs were'
From the Premiership to level nine status in the Herts/Middlesex 1 League, it's been a long old drop for @LondonWelshRFC . @CaiGriffiths talks to @heagneyl on how a humbled club at rebuilding ???https://t.co/tfYnaumj1y
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 17, 2020
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