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RFU Championship signings news continued

25 May 2012

  • Doncaster Knights invest in youth for 2012/13 season
  • Leeds sign Carnegie legend Hooper's younger brother
Mark Atkinson attacking for Esher

Photo: RFU Archive

Five RFU Championship clubs have been busy in the transfer market this week, Doncaster Knights leading the way by bringing in 10 new players for the 2012/13 season.

Brett Davey has been keen to strengthen all areas of the squad and has, on the whole, turned to youth as the answer.

Seven of the new recruits are 22 or under and Brian McGovern, the prop who joins from French-side Narbonne, is the oldest at 26.

There are two signings from RFU Championship semi-finalists Bedford Blues in 22-year-old flanker Sam Pailor and 25-year-old fly half Jamie Lennard, while two youngsters from Aviva Premiership Leicester Tigers have also signed for the Knights.

Leeds Carnegie have also been busy with Diccon Edwards keen to keep a talented young crop of players at Headingly this summer.

Joe Barker, Richard Beck, Harry Hannan, Scott Freer, Mark Tampin, Craig Hampson, Joe Barker and Mo Mustapha - all under 23 - have signed extensions to their current contracts.

In addition to these youngsters, Carnegie have also signed 25-year-old David Doherty, second-row Matt Smith, scrum-half James Doherty, 24, and second row Mike Myerscough, 25, all from Championship finalists Cornish Pirates.

Leeds’ most recent signing is prop Ben Hooper, who is the younger brother of Carnegie legend Stuart Hooper, and has joined from Yorkshire rivals Rotherham Titans on a one year contract.

Rotherham themselves have also been busy strengthening their squad with two new additions in highly rated fly-half James McKinney and 6’3” back-row Alex Rieder.

Meanwhile, further South, Nottingham have announced the re-signing of two youngsters who are keen to continue their development with the Green and Whites.

Second rower Mitchell Todd and versatile youngster Joe Cobden, who was described ex-Nottingham Director of Rugby Glenn Delaney as having a ‘very bright future’, were both delighted with their new RFU Championship deals.

This is in addition to the re-signing of fast-rising scrum-half Finlay Barnham and the new deal given to 24-year-old back-rower Rupert Cooper, who has added community coach duties to his role as a player.

Finally, Bedford Blues have been busy re-signing 22 of their squad from last year, while also adding Tom Armes, Ben Gulliver, Mark Atkinson and Darren Fearn to their ranks.

Speaking about the resignings, Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “It was always important for me to keep the majority of the squad together and I’m delighted that we have been able to do so before the season has officially ended.”

Table showing all Championship signings so far for the 2012/13 season

The RFU Championship signings so far this season