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Ireland forward Fryday signs with Exeter in England's Premier 15s

‘It’s a great opportunity to come over here and play a high standard of rugby and get some quality rugby time under my belt.’

Nichola Fryday in action for Ireland.
Nichola Fryday in action for Ireland.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

IRELAND FORWARD NICHOLA Fryday has joined the Exeter Chiefs in England’s Premier 15s.

Lock Fryday, 26, who was player of the match in Ireland’s victory over the USA two weeks ago, leaves Blackrock and Connacht to compete for Susie Appleby’s side in England’s professional top flight.

The 22-cap international, a native of Kilcormac, Co. Offaly, arrives in England just as one of her compatriots departs the Exeter women’s setup: assistant coach Tom Hayes, former Chiefs captain, is returning to Ireland for family reasons and will be replaced by Steve Salvin.

“I’m really excited about the move,” said Fryday. “It’s all been a bit of whirlwind these last few weeks, what with playing for Ireland, but now I’m here I can’t wait to get stuck in.

“Laura [Sheehan] has told me a lot about the club, everything positive, and now I’m here I can already see that there is a real close-knit vibe amongst the squad. For me, it’s a great opportunity to come over here and play a high standard of rugby and get some quality rugby time under my belt.”

Fryday will initially deputise for Canadian lock McKinley Hunt, who broke her leg in Exeter’s away victory over defending champions Harlequins back in September.

Head coach Appleby says she’s excited to see what the Faithful County woman will be able to add to her side in the coming months.

“Nichola looks like a quality second row, exactly what we need, especially with McKinley still sidelined.

I spoke to her a while ago and she said she wanted to get through the autumn period with Ireland and then come over here and have a different outlook on the game.

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“Laura Sheehan obviously knows here very well and gave her a good wrap, but from what I’ve seen myself she seems to do the simple things well. She has good basics, a good understanding of the game, and I’m excited to see what she will bring to the team.”

Gavan Casey and Bernard Jackman are joined by Garry Doyle to peak at next year’s Six Nations through the lens of November just gone, look ahead to the weekend’s URC fixtures, and discuss potential replacements for Stephen Larkham at Munster:


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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