It’s somewhat busy over at Lady Bay of late, Nottingham Rugby’s Head Coach, Craig Hammond, adding several new faces to his Archers ahead of the assault on the upcoming season in the Championship.
Joining the Archers for the new season, of those recently announced by the club, are that of 5ft 10 hooker ANTONIO ‘TJ’ HARRIS, 6ft 4 outside centre RONNIE DU RANDT, 6ft 1 second row SAM GREEN, 6ft winger ELLIS MEE, and another challenge at #8 in the 6ft 4 RICHARD CLIFT.
The five, incoming athletes, bring differing levels of experience to an Archers side that will be looking to not only better last season’s finish, but push for the top six, and maybe even promotion, should the gelling, and forward momentum, work in their favour.
Returning to Lady Bay, after four years in Jersey with the championship-winning Reds, is former Nottingham hooker, TJ Harris, the Solihull-born player having experienced the sport at North Otago (New Zealand), Worcester Warriors, Bedford Blues, all prior to his last spell in the East Midlands, and, more recently, Wasps, and Jersey Reds.
TJ was, in September 2022, asked by The Rugby Paper to select his Best XV Dream Team, consisting of those he’s played alongside, or against, in that heady list of fifteen, TJ would select former World Cup winners Vincent Koch and Willie le Roux (South Africa, 2019), as well as the likes of Paul Tupai, Ashley Johnson, Billy Vunipola (three, Six Nations titles), Antoine Dupont (one, Six Nations title), and Danny Cipriani.
Du Randt has played England Sevens and came through the esteemed, Nottingham Trent Performance Pathway, as did Mee, a 6ft winger who steps up to the Championship from local side, West Bridgford.
Second Row, Sam Green, arrives in Nottingham following a spell in France, with Union Sportive Bergerac, based in the Dordogne Valley, and has experience playing in both France, and in New Zealand, whilst Richard Clift brings vast experience from his time down under, to the Nottingham sunshine.
Having played alongside his brother, Will, at the Warringah Rats, in Sydney, Australia, Clift has played the sport since his early school days, joining the Melbourne Rebels U20, before moving to Brothers Rugby, in Brisbane, earning Rookie of the Year in 2021.
It’s a set of five which adds, significantly, to the clubs previous signings over recent weeks of Will Yarnell, Sebastian Ferreira, Kai Owen, and Jake Bridges, read more on those here.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NottinghamRugby the team is taking place ahead of the new campaign.