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'He's a big unit': Worcester sign Garvey, Newcastle bring in Dalton

By Kim Ekin

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Worcester have made experienced lock/flanker Matt Garvey their 13th signing for the 2021/22 season while Newcastle have signed ex-Ulster back five forward Matthew Dalton on a two-year deal. Garvey, 33, will bring plenty of Gallagher Premiership experience to Sixways having started his career at London Irish, spent seven years with Bath and the past season with Gloucester. Garvey also skippered Bath between 2017 and 2019.


“We said that we had a couple more signings to make and one of them was a six/lock,” said Worcester boss Jonathan Thomas about his recruitment of Garvey. “We have a lot of good, young back five players but Matt’s experience and leadership will add real value to the squad. It’s important that you have good a balance between youth and experience and Matt can be a mentor to those young guys.

“But his real point of difference as a player is his experience and his knowledge and ability around the scrum and maul which are areas for growth for us. The Premiership is the most physical league in the world and Matt has got lots of experience. We are looking forward to working with Matt. Everyone who we have spoken to speaks highly of his leadership, his experience and his physicality as a player.”

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Garvey added: “Worcester have always proved to be a tough challenge every time that I have played against them, and after having spoken to JT I was impressed with the plan and vision he has for the squad for next season and for the future. There are some very talented young players coming through and establishing themselves, and I look forward to joining up with the squad and playing my part next season.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have unveiled the signing of ex-Ireland U20s player Dalton, a 6ft 6in forward who weighs 115kgs and has already been settling in on Tyneside. “I wasn’t supposed to start until July 1 but I had a bit of a chat with the coaches and we thought it would be best if I came over early,” said the 22-year-old who played for Ulster on ten occasions.

“I arrived a few weeks back and have been working hard with the strength and conditioning coaches. It’s a chance to meet everyone, see the lay of the land and put in some graft ahead of the start of pre-season. It’s been great so far, and I’ve made some big gains.”


A former international pentathlete for Ireland schools, with high jump and hurdles as his stronger events, Dalton, who is mainly a second row, added: “I like to bring some speed to the game with the way that I play. Looking at the pitch here and the way the Falcons go about their game, that could be a good fit.

“Coming into a Premiership team from the PRO14, there are definitely a lot of differences, but also a few similarities. Newcastle have got a very fit and dynamic pack and with the style of rugby I play, it will marry well.

“I have had a bit of time off to do some growing up and self-reflecting and this is definitely a good move for me. I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity presented to me over these next two years, and I’m just incredibly glad how it’s worked out.”



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