Aviva Premiership Movers 2013-2014 season
The squads for the new season are now finalised bar a late move or two and there will be some sides happy with their business and some that may be worrying about what the season will hold.
Gavin Henson ,Leroy Houston, Peter Stringer, Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson, David Sisi, Matt Garvey, Juan Pablo Orlandi, George Ford, Mickey Young, Martin Roberts.
Lee Mears, Dan Hipkiss, Michael Claassens, Ben Skirving, Ben Mosses, Sam Vesty, Simon Taylor, Mark McMillan, Stephen Donald, Jack Cuthbert
Bath have lost a lot of experience with Mears, Hipkiss, Claassens, Skirving, Taylor Donald all leaving the club. They have tried to cover this with Stringer, Young and Roberts all coming in and some real young talent in Joseph, Watson and Ford. The big call is Henson and what he will do for the team morale with an incident already under his belt. If he keeps off the front page then Bath could have made a good signing.
Signing to make biggest impact – Jonathan Joseph – may find more space and front foot ball this season to attack from
Biggest miss – Michael Claassens – if he was on form Bath really ticked and he ran the show
Dave Lewis, Ceri Sweeney, Tom James, Don Armand, Greg Bateman, Fetu’u Vainikolo.
Simon Alcott, Chris Budgen, Richard Baxter, Aly Muldowney, Watisoni Votu, Neil Clark, Ignacio Mieres, Myles Dorrian, Nic Sestaret, Gonzalo Camacho, Junior Polo, Josh Tatupu, Mark Foster, Kevin Barrett.
It seems like Exeter are transitioning from the guys that kept them up in the early days to a squad fuller with their very good youth policy and although it seems like a lot of players have left, the quality of those incoming really add to the squad
Signing to make biggest impact – Fetu’u Vainikolo – His strong running will really be suited by the Exeter game
Biggest miss – Good business has been done but perhaps Chris Budgen’s presence around the young team
Matt Kvesic, James Hudson, Tavis Knoyle, Jonny Bentley, Tom Hicks, Dan George
Jim Hamilton, Dave Lewis, Peter Buxton, Dario Chistolini, Tommaso D’Apice, Drew Locke, Brad Field
A quite close season for Gloucester but where Hamilton has gone Hudson has come in, Lewis has gone Knoyle has come in. A lot of the youth is coming through as well and with the injury list easing Nigel Davies will have high hopes.
Signing to make biggest impact – Matt Kvesic – He has a great engine and will fit right into the Gloucester back row on his way to England honours
Biggest Miss – Jim Hamilton’s presence will be missed this year and although Buxton originally left for Bristol he has returned after injury has ended his career.
Paul Doran-Jones, Nick Kennedy
James Johnston, Seb Stegmann, Peter Browne, Rory Clegg, Miles, Mantella, Chris Booker
Very quiet for Quins this close season with Doran-Jones brought in for the wrecking ball Johnston. A good move is bringing Kennedy back from France.
Signing to make biggest impact – Nick Kennedy is a real line out specialist and winning your own ball as well well as putting pressure on your opponents will be a big addition for Quins this year
Biggest Miss- James Johnston – A real anchor in the Quins front row and a great runner in the loose
Neil Briggs, Jamie Gibson, David Mele, Jerome Schuster, Sebastien De Chaves, Ryan Lamb, Gonzalo Camacho, Owen Williams
George Ford, Mickey Young, Martin Castrogiovani, Matt Cornwell, Brett Deacon, Rob Andrew, Andy Symons, Andy Forsyth, Johnny Harris, Jimmy Stevens, Alex Lewington, Richard Thorpe, Geordan Murphy, Keiran Brookes
Again it looks like a clear out of a lot of dead wood and players past their best. George Ford was destined for better things but wanted first team rugby and the experience of Murphy and Castro will be missed this year. The signings, Jamie Gibson apart, look distinctly like fillers for international gaps.
Signing to make biggest impact – Jamie Gibson who looks a great signing for the back row from London Irish
Biggest Miss – Geordan Murphy who has been such a talismanic figure for so long for the club.
Blair Cowan, Michael Mayhew, Jamie Hagan, Andrew Fenby, Alex Lewington, Jimmy Stephens, Johnny Harris, Miles Dorrian, Nic Rouse, Matt Parr, Eamonn Sheridan, Fergus Mulchrone
Alex Corbisiero, Steve Shingler, James Sandford, Alex Gray, Jack Moats, Jerry Yanuyanatawa, Joe Ansbro, Conor Gaston, Scott Lawson, Jamie Gibson, Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson, David Sisi, Matt Garvey, Max Lahiff
It seems as though after the mass changes and leavers last year the rest of the talent has deserted this close season and I fear for Irish this season. Bright stars last year Gibson, Joseph, Corbisiero and Shingler all leave as well as the talent of Watson while Joe Ansbro has had to retire through injury. The signings are squad players or stepping up a division and will find it tough at this level.
Signing to make biggest impact – Difficult to select one from the above
Biggest Miss – The heart of the side has gone and big misses will be Corbisiero, Gibson and Joseph who will all prosper at their new clubs.
Kearnan Myall, Josh Bassett, Ricky Reeves, Neil Cochrane, Jack Moates, Ed Jackson, Jake Cooper-Wooley, Matt Mullan, Joe Carlisle, Andy Goode, Nathan Hughes, Rory Pitman, Guy Thompson
Billy Vunipola, Stephen Jones, Alex Rae, Jonathan Poff, Chris Mayor, Fabio Stabinao, Paul Emerick, Lorenzo Romano, Tinus Du Plessis, T Rhys-Thomas, Zak Taulafo, Marco Wentzel, Stuart Cummins, Jack Wallace, Nicky Robinson, Will Robinson
It looks like a good mix of promise and experience from the signings this year and although some big players have left it may be the clear out Wasps have needed to keep building on the promise from last year . Mullan will be a good signing if getting back to his form that got him selected for England but I still think they are light at fly half with Goode not the player to get their backs moving.
Signing to make biggest impact – Nathan Hughes the young back rower from Auckland could be the signing of the season
Biggest Miss – Billy Vunipola joins Mako at Saracens and with England honours beckoning it could be big loss if Hughes doesn’t fill his big boots
Mike Blair, Rory Clegg, Adam Powell, Andy Saull, Phil Godman, Scott Lawson, Fraser MacKenzie, Kerian Brookes, Danny Barnes, Nahuel Lobo, Noah Cato
James Hudson, Michael Mayhew, Jimmy Gopperth, James Hall, Luke Fielden, Jonny Golding, James Goode, Ollie Stedman, Jordi Pasqualin, Tai Tufuia
Newcastle walked the league last year and look to have strengthened in the right areas again with some decent professionals although Jimmy Gopperth’s defection to Leinster will leave the control at 10 something they may miss on cold December nights.
Signing to make biggest impact – Andy Saull fell down the pecking order at Saracens after looking set for England and this may be the new lease of life he needs.
Biggest Miss – Jimmy Gopperth has been part of the fixtures for a few years now and his departure will leave a big hold in the back line and the control and points he brings.
George North, Glenn Dickson, Rob Verbakal, Alex Corbisiero, Gareth Denman, Kahn Fotuali’i, Salesi Ma’afu
Soane Tonga’uiha, Brian Mujati, Paul Doran-Jones, Ryan Lamb, Mark Sorenson, Noah Cato, Scott Armstrong, Tom May, Martin Roberts, Rhys Oakley, Tom Hicks
Some very astute signings but some very crucial losses. The front row has been the rock that Northampton have built from with destruction of opposing scrums and penalties galore, the power of Mujati and Tonga’uiha will be sorely missed. Corbisiero showed with the Lions he can fill in at one side of the scrum and fellow Lion North will give them the pace and power they miss out wide since Ashton’s departure.
Signing to make biggest impact – Lions North and Corbisiero are sure to be big news and are the obvious choices but Fotuali’i was sensational at the Ospreys last year and will really put a fizz into the back line while being a strong defender.
Biggest Miss – Impossible to pick one and the Mujati / Tonga’uiha axis will be a big miss this year after years of devastation.
Tom Arscott, Phil Mackenzie, Jonathan Mills, Michael Paterson, Dan Baines, Andy Forsyth, Charlie Walker-Blair, Joe Ford, Kirill Kulemin
Richie Vernon, Andy Powell, Alisdair Dickinson, Richie Gray, Kearnan Myall, Jordon Davis, Fraser Mackenzie, Charlie Amsbury, Cameron Shepherd, Corne Uys,Tom Cruse
It looked promising for Sale last year but for some reason the players never really clicked last year and some of these better players are now leaving in Gray, Vernon, Shepherd and Powell maybe this is what they needed and more an influx of players who want to play for the club.
Signing to make biggest impact – No real stars incoming but the pace of Tom Arscott will be a welcome addition
Biggest Miss – Although he didn’t make the impact he could Richie Gray is still a big miss to any side
James Johnston, Billy Vunipola, Richard Barrington, Jack Wilson, Tim Streather, Michael Tagicakibau, Marcelo Bosch
John Smit, Carlos Nieto, Joe Maddock, Adam Powell Andy Saull, Jono Ross, Kameli Ratuvou,
Well what can you say some old wood and players who have dropped down the pecking order are released while quality is brought in again. Johnston will anchor the already strong scrum, while Vunipola will add more power to the back row, Bosch and back row convert to wing Wilson will both add strength when the international period comes around.
Signing to make biggest impact – Billy Vunipola will continue his progression and cause chaos from a stable scrum
Biggest Miss – John Smit didn’t play many games but the World Cup winner will have had a great presence in the dressing room
Augustine Creevy, Ignacio Mieres, Leonardo Senatore, Mike Williams, Paul Warwick, Paul Andrew, Ofa Fainga’anuku, Cameron Goodhue,Chris Booker, Jonathan Thomas, James Stephenson, Jeremy Su’a,
Andy Goode, Joe Carlisle, Matt Mullen, Matt Kvesic, Andy Short, Errie Claassens, Blair Cowen, James Currie, Ollie Frost, Shaun Perry, Nikki Walker, Neil Best, Aleki Lutui
Some good signings but it looks like a big clearout. Whether the signings from France, New Zealand, Wales, South Africa and Argentina can gel will determine how well Worcester start the season, some old heads and good young talent have all left and there are some gaps to fill.
Signing to make biggest impact – A lot of unknown qualtities from overseas but Ignacio Meires is going to have to step up to the plate and control a new look Worcester side.
Biggest Miss – Matt Kvesic is bound for Gloucester and the young back row looks to be a star in the making.
Please feel free to add your thoughts on your clubs signings.