Matthews and Tonks make Saints switch

Gloucestershire Echo - - RUGBY UNION -

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WALES Un­der-18s out­side-half Tommy Matthews is one of two up-and-com­ing Glouces­ter play­ers mov­ing to Gallagher Pre­mier­ship ri­vals Northamp­ton Saints.

The Franklin’s Gar­dens out­fit an­nounced on their web­site Matthews and west coun­try team-mate JJ Tonks will move to the club, hav­ing been tipped to have glow­ing fu­tures at the Cherry & Whites.

Matthews, 18, was picked up by Lon­don Ir­ish be­fore mov­ing to Hart­pury and catch­ing the at­ten­tion of Glouces­ter.

His per­for­mances from the kick­ing tee and his game man­age­ment skills, saw him fea­ture in the 2018 and 2019 Acad­emy League fi­nals.

His dis­plays were re­warded with a call-up to the Wales Un­der-18 team for their Six Na­tions Cham­pi­onship cam­paign ear­lier this year.

Saints hope hav­ing Wales 10 Dan Big­gar in their ranks can rub off on his fel­low coun­try­man.

Saints acad­emy man­ager Mark Ho­p­ley, told their web­site: “Both of these young guys have ar­rived at the Club, got stuck in, and im­pressed us with their com­mit­ment so far in pre­sea­son train­ing.

“JJ and Tommy are both keen to learn and have some su­perb role mod­els ahead of them in the peck­ing or­der at Franklin’s Gar­dens – to be able to pick the brains of the likes of Tom Wood and Dan Big­gar in their po­si­tions is in­valu­able at their age.

“We showed last sea­son that young play­ers will get op­por­tu­ni­ties so we don’t ex­pect JJ and Tommy just to make up the num­bers.

“We’re very proud of the qual­ity of our Se­nior Acad­emy play­ers and we ex­pect these two to con­trib­ute on the field too.

“They’ve both played in­ter­na­tional age-group rugby so the ta­lent is there and I’m ex­cited to see what they can ac­com­plish this sea­son.”

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