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Will Goodrick-Clarke signs a deal taking him back the Premiership

By Liam Heagney
Will Goodrick-Clarke playing for a 2022 England XV versus the Barbarians (Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England hopeful Will Goodrick-Clarke is back in the Gallagher Premiership after agreeing a deal with Exeter following a one-season pitstop in the Championship. The prop was made redundant last June when London Irish folded and he opted to play second-tier rugby with a view to getting back into the top-fight.

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Ealing Trailfinders snapped him up and following a title-winning season with the Londoners, he has now been signed by Rob Baxter’s Chiefs on an unspecified length contract following an initial report by RugbyPass last December that the front-rower had been sounded out about moving to Sandy Park.

A statement read: “Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their front row depth with the addition of loosehead prop Will Goodrick-Clarke ahead of the 2024/25 season. The former London Irish man joins from the Championship side, Ealing Trailfinders.

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“The 28-year-old prop first picked up a rugby ball as a youngster at Stow-on-the-Wold in Cheltenham. Having honed his talents, he earned a place in the Gloucester academy before cutting his teeth in adult rugby with Richmond in the Championship.

“His performances for the London second-tier side led to him catching the eye of the former Premiership club, London Irish. Goodrick-Clarke made over 50 club appearances, becoming a key figure amongst the ranks of the aspiring side.

“Spotted by then-England coach Eddie Jones, the Englishman was involved in multiple international training camps before a non-capped appearance came in 2022 against the Barbarians at Twickenham.”

“I’m relishing the chance to get back out there, play in these big games, and see what I can contribute to this Chiefs team,” said Goodrick-Clarke.

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Exeter boss Baxter added: “We knew some looseheads would be moving on and we wanted to replace them, as well as add to what we have here by signing a quality player who we knew had Premiership experience but was also of the right age range to be here for a prolonged time with a lot of rugby left in him.

“Will fills that mould fantastically for us. He is an established player who was playing very well for London Irish at the time of their demise. He had worked closely with Ross McMillan and Ross had a lot of good things to say about him – his work ethic, the quality of player and the person that he is.

“We watched a lot of him playing in the Championship this season and saw he was playing well, so we think he will be a fantastic addition to our squad. We know he is desperate to get back into playing in the Premiership to push on and try to be successful and win trophies. And that’s exactly the type of player we’re looking to bring in.

“He is a guy that has got some experience already but that we will help to keep improving and hopefully he can be the type of guy that helps to drive us forward and be a successful team in the future.”

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Tim 1 hours ago
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