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Harlequins snap up three forwards

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Worcester, Exeter and Pirates the latest clubs hit by Harlequins' exhaustive recruitment drive

Harlequins’ exhaustive shopping spree had a Thursday sequel, the London club announcing that Worcester’s Simon Kerrod, Exeter’s Tom Lawday and Cornish Pirates’ Toby Freeman are their eighth, ninth and 10th signings so far this week for next season.

Tighthead prop Kerrod joined Worcester from Jersey at the start of the 2017/18 season having previously represented Sharks and Eastern Province Kings in South Africa.

Kerrod, 26, was born in Johannesburg and has previously been selected in a South Africans Barbarian team, but is English-qualified.

Head of rugby Paul Gustard said he was really pleased by Kerrod’s arrival. “We have been monitoring Simon over the last few months and we know he is a player who can bring great value to our squad,” he said. “He has strong technical ability in an area that is critical to success in the Gallagher Premiership and off the field he has proven to be a person of integrity and determination.

“The scrum and lineout in England is a fiercely contested area and its importance to league success is well documented. We know he has the ability to be a success here at Harlequins and we are delighted that he and his wife Sammy have committed their future with us.”

(Continue reading below…)

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Kerrod said: “It is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Harlequins. I can sense the passion that Gussy and his team have instilled in the players and I know that they are hungry to win trophies there. I look forward to getting started next season and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this great club which already has such an illustrious history.”

No8 Lawday represented England Students and made his Chiefs debut against Quins at the Stoop in the 2017/18 Anglo-Welsh Cup. The 25-year-old said: “I have been really impressed with what has been going on at Harlequins this season and know it is a club with very strong ambitions. A lot of success lies ahead there.”

Freeman, a 31-year-old who started his career in Cornwall and then went on to play for Rotherham and Nottingham, has been a mainstay of the Pirates team since his return there in 2017.

The London club stole a march in the recruitment stake for 2019/20 with the early week revelation that they had captured the signatures of Argentina duo Martin Landajo and Santiago Garcia Botta, Italy’s Michele Campagnaro and Wales’ Scott Baldwin.

Those signings were followed on Wednesday with Gustard first revealing he had snapped up openside Will Evans from Leicester and second row Glen Young from Newcastle. He then later added 27-year-old South African lock Stephan Lewies to the mix.

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Worcester, Exeter and Pirates the latest clubs hit by Harlequins' exhaustive recruitment drive