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Signings continue as Championship season approaches play-offs

02 April 2014

  • Leeds, Bedford and Rotherham announce new players and contract extensions
  • Long-serving David Doherty commits future to Carnegie
Leeds Carnegie's David Doherty

Photo: RFU Archive

With the Championship fast approaching the play-off stages, clubs from across the competition are securing players ahead of the new season.

Wing David Doherty, 27, has agreed a new two-year contract with Leeds Carnegie. The new deal will keep him at Headingley Carnegie until at least the end of the 2015-16 season; a club he debuted for in 2004, becoming the youngest every player to appear in the Premiership.

His Round 20 score against Nottingham took him to third in the all-time list of try scorers for the club with 34 in 70 appearances in all competitions, one ahead of Simon Middleton and three behind Dan Scarbrough.

Speaking about his new contract, Doherty said: “I am delighted to have signed the new deal, I am really settled back home in Leeds and I can only see us going forward in the future. The move home has worked out as well as I could have hoped for. I love the environment we have here and I think there is something special in the future for this group.

“Our main focus is now for the play-offs, we are practising for four big games of high intensity and we are approaching every game like a play-off match to make sure we are ready for those crunch games,” added Doherty.

South African scrum half McGaffin joins Titans

Fellow play-off contenders Rotherham Titans have also bolstered their squad, securing the services of Zylon McGaffin, 23, from SSE National Two North outfit Darlington Mowden Park.

Originating from a small farming community in South Africa, McGaffin has represented North South Africa U18s and been involved with Blue Bulls A-League, Blue Bulls U19 Currie Cup Squad and Pretoria Harlequins. With a degree in Environmental Management Science under his belt, the scrum half is looking forward to the new challenge of Championship rugby, saying: “I am very excited to join the Rotherham Titans community and believe it has capability of developing me as a person and a player. I'm thrilled, as Rotherham prides itself on a fast paced game of rugby and hopefully I can contribute in implementing that.

“Championship rugby has always been a goal of mine and I'm delighted to be representing Rotherham, which is a very competitive outfit in the Championship. I look forward to contributing to the club for the next season in whichever way is needed.”

Elsewhere, Bedford Blues have continued planning ahead of the 2014/15 season, snapping up another exciting young winger as well as securing the services of three more of the current squad.

Joining Bedford is Dean Adamson, 21, from Ampthill Rugby Club, where he has earned a reputation as one of the most prolific try scorers in SSE National Two South. The youngster, who came through the Blues Academy, was on trial with Bedford last summer featuring in the pre-season friendlies before heading back to Dillingham Park.

Speaking about the capture, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “Dean is another talented young winger who plays with a lot of confidence and has a clear eye for the line. To sign developing talent such as him and Jim Wigglesworth from Cambridge is great for us as a club and they follow a well trodden path of some pretty good players before them.

Joining Adamson next season will be three more of the Blues current crop of players in Paul Tupai, Mike Howard and Ollie Dodge.

The trio join Adamson and new signings Jim Wigglesworth and Nick Fenton-Wells in the squad for 2014/15 along with club captain James Pritchard and winger Patrick Tapley, who both have another year on their contracts.