London Scottish can confirm the arrival of three new faces ahead of the 2018/19 season, two of who will come from Loughborough University.
The first ‘new’ signing is a very familiar face to the Athletic Ground. Front rower Jimmy Litchfield will rejoin the Scots after two seasons away from the club at Coventry in National One.
Litchfield grew up in the West Midlands and then went on to attend Hartpury College in Gloucester. He then joined London Welsh before coming over the road to The Athletic Ground before the 2015/16 season when he made 13 appearances for the Scots at Tighthead. Following that season with Scottish he moved to Coventry in National One and was a near ever-present. He went on to make 49 total appearances for Cov and was a vital cog in their forward pack this season as they have run away with the National One title.
Jimmy was upbeat about a return to London, “I’m really pleased to have re-signed with Scottish. After speaking with Dave Morris and hearing the aim and direction he wants to lead the club forward with, it was an easy decision for me to make. I’m also looking forward to playing my rugby back in the Championship with what stands to be an exciting squad to be a part of.”
Litchfield will add depth to the front row stocks as he can now play both loosehead or tighthead after learning the skill under the tutelage of Boris Stankovich, the ex-Leicester Tiger prop, at Coventry.
Director of Rugby Dave Morris said of Litchfield’s arrival, “We welcome Jimmy back to London Scottish. Jimmy is a big man capable of playing both sides of the scrum. His scrummaging was really dominant in National One working under scrum coach Boris Stankovich at Coventry. He is also very effective at the front of a driving maul. We will be looking for him to deliver a strong set piece for us next season. “
Joining Jimmy will be two new faces to the squad, both of whom will join from Loughborough Students in National One.
Luke Frost is a rangy back rower standing at 6ft3” and 108kg. He attended Loughborough University and studied Sports and Exercise Science.
Frost has been a consistent in the Loughborough Students side over the last few years and has built a reputation as a big ball carrier and an abrasive tackler around the breakdown.
Frost will be joined by fellow Loughborough alumni Ollie Adams. Adams who studied Sport Science and is a hooker, will be looking to emulate the feats of this season’s Young Player of the Season and fellow Loughborough graduate, Isaac Miller. Frost and Adams were both previously part of the London Irish Academy before heading to University and both forwards were named in the original England Students training squad in January. Adams has been sidelined for a few months after a second knee injury but he will work with the London Scottish medical staff to regain his match fitness.
University graduates Frost and Adams were both looking forward to the challenge of playing Championship rugby next season. “Loughborough Students have given me a great platform to improve over the last three years and have given me this opportunity to move into professional rugby. I am looking forward to joining up with the squad in June and am relishing the chance to play in the Championship,” said Frost.
Adams who has also represented England Under 18s added, “I am very grateful to both Dave and the club for the opportunity to step back into professional rugby. Long term injuries can be tough but I’ve never been more motivated to get myself back on the field. London Scottish is a fantastic club and a place I’m really looking forward to working with in the Championship next season. To have some familiar faces coming along with me makes it all the better.”
Dave Morris was very familiar with both Luke and Ollie from his time with Loughborough University and Loughborough Students in National One and was excited at linking up with the pair again. “I worked with Luke at Loughborough and have been keeping a close eye on him last season. He is very versatile being able to play across the back row and in the second row. He is a good lineout forward but what sets him apart is his work rate. He is consistently top of the stats for involvements at Loughborough. He was part of London Irish Academy and played B&I Cup for Irish whilst at Loughborough.”
Morris continued, “Ollie is another player I know well from my time at Loughborough where he duelled with Isaac Miller for the number 2 shirt. Unfortunately, he sustained a serious knee injury in a National One game in January. When he returns to fitness it will dovetail nicely with when Pete Austin’s Army fixtures begin. Ollie has a good balance to his game and has captained Loughborough.”
“Both Ollie and Luke are very active and selfless in their wider contribution to Loughborough Students RFC. Those qualities are going to be very important for London Scottish too,” Morris concluded.