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'He's proved himself at a good level': Irish sign a Sydney centre

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

London Irish have bolstered their squad for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign by signing midfielder Eddie Poolman from Sydney University. The Gallagher Premiership club had been on the lookout for an additional centre following the sudden October departure of ex-Wallaby Curtis Rona and their 12-week search has now ended with the recruitment of the unheralded Poolman.

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A statement read: “London Irish is pleased to confirm the signature of centre Eddie Poolman from Sydney University. Poolman has competed for the university in the last two editions of the New South Wales Shute Shield, also helping the side to a Sydney Rugby Premiership title last year.

“The 6-foot-tall back contributed heavily to Sydney’s recent title charge. He started out his rugby career with Hunters Hill Rugby Club, one of the oldest rugby clubs in Australia, before progressing to regional honours to represent New South Wales schoolboys side.”

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London Irish boss Declan Kidney said: “Eddie is a capable player with a lot of potential. He has proved himself at a good level in Australia, and we look forward to seeing his progress with us here at London Irish.

“We are excited to be welcoming Eddie to England and we will be sure to absorb him into the family we have here.”

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Poolman added: “Signing for Irish is realising a dream of playing professional rugby. This is an exciting point in my life and starting anew in London is a fantastic opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. Watching Declan and his team from Australia, the style of play and players here at Irish are a massive pull factor, and I’m just itching to get started with the guys.”

Poolman will debut for London Irish in their home Premiership Rugby Cup pool match on Wednesday night versus Bath in Brentford.

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LONDON IRISH: 15. Logan Trotter; 14. Matt Williams, 13. Eddie Poolman, 12. Tom Hitchcock, 11. Michael Dykes; 10. Jacob Atkins, 9. Caolan Englefield; 1. Facundo Gigena, 2. Matt Cornish, 3. Ciaran Parker, 4. Josh Caulfield, 5. Ed Scragg, 6. Jack Cooke (capt), 7. Ben Donnell, 8. Ben Atkins. Reps: 16. Isaac Miller, 17. Mikey Summerfield, 18. Luke Green, 19. Lucas Brooke, 20. Josh Smart, 21. Hugh O’Sullivan, 22. Monty Bradbury, 23. Jack Walsh.

BATH: 15. Sam Harris; 14. Tom de Glanville, 13. Jordan Venter, 12. Max Wright, 11. Will Butt; 10. George Worboys, 9. Tom Carr-Smith; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Doughty, 3. Archie Griffin, 4. Michael Etete, 5. JJ Tonks, 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Wesley White, 8. Richard de Carpentier. Reps: 16. Jasper Spandler, 17. Archie Stanley, 18. Elliot Millar-Mills, 19. Ethan Staddon, 20. Frankie Read, 21. Louie Hennessey, 22. Gabe Goss, 23. Nahum Merigan

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Flankly 1 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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