Eal­ing build­ing case for Pre­mier­ship

The Rugby Paper - - News - By JON NEW­COMBE

FIJI in­ter­na­tional prop Cam­pese Ma’Afu will be the next Pre­mier­ship player to head to Eal­ing Trail­find­ers at the end of the sea­son.

In the past fort­night, the am­bi­tious Cham­pi­onship club have con­firmed the signings of Guy Ar­mitage (Wasps), Tom Den­ton (Glouces­ter), Sam Olver (Worces­ter), Ben Betts (Le­ices­ter) and Harry Sloan (Har­lequins), while Joe Simp­son and Paul Do­ran-Jones (both Wasps) are also un­der­stood to be tar­gets.

Ma’Afu, below, has made 20 ap­pear­ances for Saints this sea­son and 34 over­all in just over two years at Franklin’s Gar­dens.

The 33-year-old Syd­ney­born loose-head, who has also had spells at Cardiff Blues and Not­ting­ham, won his 50th cap for Fiji against Canada last Novem­ber and has ap­peared in the last two World Cups. Bed­ford’s for­mer Eng­land U20 World Cup win­ner, winger Howard Pack­man, will also be on board next sea­son. The 22-year-old came through the Northamp­ton Academy and made his de­but aged 18 against Glouces­ter in 2013. He went on to make seven first team ap­pear­ances for Saints but then had brief loan spells at Lon­don Scot­tish and Rother­ham Ti­tans be­fore a per­ma­nent move to Bed­ford.

Mean­while, TRP un­der­stands scrum-half Kieran Hardy is head­ing back to west Wales to re-join the Scar­lets.

The 22-year-old for­mer Wales U20 in­ter­na­tional has en­joyed an im­pres­sive sea­son in the Cham­pi­onship and will be one of at least five Reds play­ers to step up a level next sea­son.

Props Jake Wool­more and Jake Arm­strong, along with winger Tom Pin­cus, are off to Bris­tol while full­back Scott van Breda is head­ing for Worces­ter.

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