London Scottish can today confirm their squad for the upcoming 2015/16 season, as they look to build on the historic achievement last campaign.
The Scots head into the new Greene King IPA Championship season with 11 new signings, as well as six dual registration signings from Harlequins, Bath and Gloucester. The squad is made up of 36 players ahead of what promises to be a thrilling season.
There are some exciting arrivals with international pedigree across the board. Scotland age group representatives including second-row Neale Patrick, scrum-half Russell Weir and prop David Young have all put pen to paper. Aviva Premiership experience has also been brought in, in the shape of 6’11” second-row Will Carrick-Smith from Exeter Chiefs, and also from the Pro12 Tyrone Moran signs from Leinster.
Elsewhere, centre Drew Locke joins from Jersey, back-row Rory Bartle from Hartpury and prop Jimmy Litchfield from fellow Exile club London Welsh.
Freddie Clarke has signed with Scottish after a spell with the England Sevens side and adds more bulk to the back-row, ex-Wales Sevens centre Jason Harries also arrives from Carmarthen Quins and Craig Jackson, who represented Scotland Sevens signs from Hartpury.
Three Harlequins will be at the Richmond Athletic Ground during the campaign, and all of them have England under-20 caps. Flanker James Chisholm, centre Joe Marchant and second-row Kieran Treadwell will all feature on dual registration contracts from the Twickenham Stoop.
Prop James Gibbons is in Richmond on a season-long loan from Gloucester, and their West Country neighbours Bath have let front-row duo Beno Obano and Tom Woolstencroft put on the Scottish shirt for the 15/16 campaign.
There are a total of 10 Scottish qualified players in the squad, as the club keep a long-standing tradition within the group.
These include David Cherry, Oli Grove, Matt Heeks, Lee Millar, Ben Prescott and Josh Thomas Brown who were all part of last season’s triumph of reaching the top-four for the first time, whilst new signings Neale Patrick, Russell Weir, David Young and Craig Jackson have also represented Scotland.
14 players from last season’s squad have now left the club and will pursue new challenges.
Head coach, Peter Richards, said: “I’m really happy with the make-up of the squad.
“There is genuine competition in every positon across the board, especially up front where Neale Patrick, Rory Bartle, Will Carrick-Smith and Freddie Clarke have added quality to what’s already a strong back-five.
“Jimmy Litchfield, David Young and Tyrone Moran also add depth in the front row and if we can keep players fit across pre-season we should be in good shape come the opening league fixtures in September.”
“We are also really grateful to Gloucester, Harlequins and Bath for the dual registration and loan agreement for their players.
“We have some quality individuals joining us and it will be mutually beneficial to all parties that they continue to learn their trade in what’s a really competitive league. It is also great to have that element of continuity.
“When I joined last year we had 18 new players and I think this year we have eleven new signings. In pre-season we can see the benefits of this.”
On the departing players, Richards added: “A big thank-you to those who took part in the club’s most successful season since 1999.
“We wish them all luck and I’m sure everyone at London Scottish will have half an eye on how some of them progress next season, especially Jamie Stevenson who has made the step-up the Aviva Premiership.”
Craig Jackson (Hartpury, back, Scottish qualified.) Honours, Scotland U19, U20, Scotland 7s.
David Young (Newport Gwent Dragons, prop, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland A, U20, U19, U18
Drew Locke (Jersey Rugby, centre). Honours, England Students.
Freddie Clarke (Bath University, back-row). Honours, England 7s, England Students, U19, U16.
Jason Harries (Carmarthen Quins, centre). Honours, Wales Sevens, Wales U20, U18.
Jimmy Litchfield (London Welsh, prop).
Neale Patrick (Plymouth Albion, second row, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland U20.
Rory Bartle (Hartpury, back-row/second row). Honours, Wales U20, U16.
Russell Weir (Scotland 7s, scrum-half, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland 7s, Scotland U20, U18
Tyrone Moran (Leinster, hooker). Honours, Leinster U19.
Will Carrick-Smith (Exeter Chiefs, second row). Honours, England U19.
Dual Registered from Harlequins
James Chisholm (back-row). Honours England U20, U19, U18.
Joe Marchant (centre). Honours, England U20, U18.
Kieran Treadwell (second-row). Honours, England U20, U18, Ireland U18.
Season long loan from Gloucester Rugby
James Gibbons (prop).
Season long loan from Bath Rugby
Beno Obano (front-row).
Tom Woolstencroft (hooker). Honours, England U20.
Chris Walker (back-row). Honours, New Zealand U21. London Scottish appearances, 18.
David Cherry (hooker, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland U20, U19, U18, U17. London Scottish appearances, 19.
James Hallam (prop). Honours, Cornwall. London Scottish appearances, 27.
Max Maidment (prop). Honours, England Students. London Scottish appearances, 19.
Peter Lydon (stand-off/full-back/centre) Honours, Leinster U20, U19, U18. London Scottish appearances, 29.
The club has recently received funding allowing for academy bursary players, and are still seeking additional funds to allow for further bursary players.
Alex Brown (back-row). Honours England 18s Clubs & Schools, South East 18s, Hertfordshire 15,16,17,18. London Scottish appearances, 7.
Ben Calder (scrum-half). Honours Wales U18, England U16, London and South East, U18 & U16. Hertfordshire U18, U16, U15, U14. London Scottish appearances, 5.
Harry Lightfoot-Brown (winger, London Irish). Honours, England U18, U17, U16.
Adam Kwasnicki (hooker), Honours, England U18. London Scottish appearances, 115.
Ben Prescott (prop, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scottish Students, U18s. London Scottish appearances, 21.
Chevvy Pennycook (back-row). Honours, England U20, U19, U18. London Scottish appearances, 54.
Dan Newton (stand-off). Honours, Wales U20, U16. London Scottish appearances, 48.
Josh Thomas Brown (second row, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland U20. London Scottish appearances, 73.
Lee Millar (stand-off, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland Club XV. London Scottish appearances, 42
Mark Bright (back-row), Honours, England 7s, Nelsons Bay, Cornwall. London Scottish appearances, 96.
Matt Heeks (scrum-half, Scottish qualified) Honours, Scotland U20, U19, U18. London Scottish appearances, 54.
Matt Williams (winger) Honours, England 7s. London Scottish appearances, 25.
Miles Mantella (winger). London Scottish appearances, 70
Oli Grove (centre, Scottish qualified). Honours, Scotland U20. London Scottish appearances, 61.
Adam Preocanin, Ealing Trailfinders
Gregor Gillanders, Blackheath.
James Phillips, Bristol.
Jamie Stevenson, Wasps.
Kieran Moffat, returned to New Zealand
Lovejoy Chawatama, Rosslyn Park.
Mark Lilley, Rosslyn Park
Matt Hawke, Rosslyn Park.
Mike Doneghan, AS Macon, France.
Neil Best, retired from professional rugby.
PJ Gidlow, Stade Rouennais, France
Ross Doneghan, retired from professional rugby
Stewart Maguire, East Grinstead.
Tai Tuisamoa, returned to USA.