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Exeter Chiefs eyeing up former England prop Goodrick-Clarke

By Ian Cameron
Marcus Smith, Bevan Rodd, Patrick Schickerling, Will Goodrick-Clarke and Orlando Bailey of England huddle after the International match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Exeter Chiefs are looking to raid the RFU Championship in search of more forward gold, with the Devon-based Gallagher Premiership side closing in on former London Irish prop Will Goodrick-Clarke.

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RugbyPass understands that Rob Baxter is eager to capture the signature of the 124kg prop who is currently plying his trade with Ealing Trailfinders in the Championship, having joined following the demise of London Irish at the end of last season.

Goodrick-Clarke played for England under Eddie Jones in an uncapped match against the Barbarians back last year and has been involved in several wider England training camps.

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The 27-year-old had originally joined London Irish from Richmond ahead of the 2019/20 season. A Championship standout, Goodrick-Clarke had become a key part of the Richmond pack and was named in the 2018/19 Championship Dream Team before moving to Irish.

Just reaching his prime as a prop, the potential signing could prove a great bit of business for Exter Chiefs, who underwent a major rebuild of personnel over the summer.

On the other side of the equation, it will be a loss for the ambitious Ealing Trailfinders, who currently sit top of the RFU Championship with six games played. Ealing have built an impressive squad in recent seasons, which includes the likes of Biyi Alo, Tom Collins, Nathan Earle, Bobby de Wee, Dan Lancaster, Cian Kelleher, Jordie Reid, Steven Shingler, Billy Twelvetrees, Lloyd Williams and Jonah Holmes.

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mitch 1 hours ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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