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Bath statement: The signing of Leinster lock Ross Molony

By Liam Heagney
Leinster senior coach Jacques Nienaber and Ross Molony after their side's victory last Saturday over La Rochelle (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Title-chasing Bath have confirmed the signing of Leinster lock Ross Molony on a three-year deal. It was last December when Johann van Graan lost out to the Irish province in the race to sign Springboks forward RG Snyman, who decided to join Leinster from Munster for the 2024/25 season.

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Snyman’s imminent arrival in the Irish capital forced Molony into a rethink about his position in the pecking order with Leo Cullen’s side and he has now opted to switch to the Gallagher Premiership until the summer of 2027.

A Bath club statement read: “We are delighted to announce the signing of Ross Molony from Leinster. The 29-year-old lock crosses the Irish Sea to join ahead of the 2024/25 season.

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Jannes Kirsten speaks fondly about life at Exeter

Bulls forward Jannes Kirsten tells Liam Heagney about how much he enjoyed playing at Exeter Chiefs.

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Jannes Kirsten speaks fondly about life at Exeter

Bulls forward Jannes Kirsten tells Liam Heagney about how much he enjoyed playing at Exeter Chiefs.

“His arrival on a three-year deal will see the towering forward commence training with the club in pre-season this coming summer. Molony made his Leinster debut whilst still on an academy contract with the club, aged just 19, where he was named to play against Zebre Parma in February 2015.

“Born in Dublin, the 6ft 6in lock has been with Leinster for the last decade, seeing him earn more than 175 caps for the Irish outfit and winning the Guinness Pro 14 league four times. A renowned lineout caller, the lock has started Leinster’s last two Champions Cup finals against La Rochelle.

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“Molony went on to make his Champions Cup debut against Bath in January 2016, in which he was named man of the match. Molony’s signing will bolster head of rugby Johann van Graan’s options as he partners up with a strong selection of players in the second row.”

Van Graan said: “Ross is a true professional and his journey in rugby is a testament to this. His work ethic and leadership are some of his key characteristics and I believe he will play a huge part in our journey in the next number of years. What struck me is the quality of a human being Ross is.”

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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