Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World
NZ NZ
Back

RugbyPass+

+

Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

RugbyPass+ Home

From Genge to Cloete: Five of the best 2022/23 Premiership signings

By PA
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The new Gallagher Premiership season kicks off with a tough act to follow after Leicester’s gripping title triumph last term. The Tigers took Premiership silverware for the first time since 2013, courtesy of Freddie Burns’ late drop-goal that sunk Saracens at Twickenham. Here, the PA news agency identifies five players – including Ellis Genge – to watch as the Premiership competition prepares for action.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ellis Genge (Bristol)
Powerful prop Genge was arguably English rugby’s player of the season last term, delivering sustained excellence for club and country. He captained Leicester to the Premiership title in his final campaign with the Tigers before joining home-town club Bristol.

An individual who drives standards on and off the pitch, Genge’s arrival at Ashton Gate is likely to spearhead an upturn in form and results after the west country club finished tenth last season, with only Worcester, Newcastle and Bath below them. The 27-year-old looks poised for another huge campaign.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Anthony Watson (Leicester)
England star Watson is due a considerable change of fortune after suffering more than his fair share of serious injuries. The 28-year-old recently returned to action for his new club Leicester during Tigers’ pre-season schedule, having been sidelined for ten months because of a serious knee problem.

Watson had previously been affected by achilles’ issues, but class is permanent, and the prospect of him lining up in a Leicester back-three alongside the likes of England full-back Freddie Steward is a mouthwatering one for Tigers fans.

Related

Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester)
Gloucester provided one of the feel-good stories of last season as head coach George Skivington continued making considerable strides with a squad that finished just two points outside the play-off places. Skivington has made just one new signing – London Irish number eight Albert Tuisue – and there can be little doubt that Gloucester’s pack will be a match for most.

ADVERTISEMENT

They also possess the backs to cause damage, with no one more dangerous than Wales wing Rees-Zammit. He excelled during his country’s summer tour of South Africa and is a try-scoring machine.

George Ford (Sale)
It will be a while before Sale fans see their new high-profile signing in action due to Ford suffering an achilles injury during Leicester’s Premiership final victory over Saracens in June. The latest estimates are that he will not be back until December but when Ford does return to action, the influential fly-half has every attribute required to help make Sale title playoff contenders.

Ford will also renew a midfield partnership with his former Tigers teammate Manu Tuilagi and when Ford’s goalkicking prowess is added to the mix, he is a signing that Sharks rightly have huge expectations of.

Chris Cloete (Bath)
When former Munster boss Johann van Graan was announced as Bath’s new head of rugby, speculation quickly rose as to which players might follow him across the Irish Sea. South African flanker Cloete has done exactly that, leaving Limerick for a first stint in the Premiership and he is set to be a key ingredient in Bath’s back row mix.

ADVERTISEMENT

A powerful ball-carrier and renowned expert at the breakdown, Cloete could prove a huge asset for van Graan as he sets about rebuilding a club that finished bottom of the table last term.

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
ADVERTISEMENT
TRENDING
TRENDING Ditch the stereotype: This Springboks team can play Bin the stereotype: This Springboks team can play
Search