North, Carbery, Tomane: All the Pro14 signings for the 2018/19 season

We’ve rounded up all the additions ahead of the upcoming Pro14 campaign.

WITH THE FIXTURES for the upcoming season confirmed yesterday and the clubs well into pre-season, the start of the 2018/19 Guinness Pro14 campaign is just over five weeks away.

While some clubs may still have further signings to finalise and announce, below we have rounded up the new additions to the Pro14 clubs this summer so far.


After an encouraging campaign last season in which they won 11 games, Kieran Crowley’s side will be looking for further growth and South Africa ‘A’-capped scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage could be a good addition from the Stormers.

inpho_01203419 Photosport / Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO Duvenage previously had a spell in Europe with Perpignan. Photosport / Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO / Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO

Fijian wing Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara - who had a spell with Bordeaux but never played in the Top 14 – joins from Waikato in New Zealand, while Benetton have also signed former Italy U20 loosehead Derrick Appiah from London Scottish.

A number of promising young players have joined from Italian club in out-half Antonio Rizzi, back row Giovanni Pettinelli and centre Marco Zanon [who played five times as a 'permit player' last season], as well as prop Giuseppe Di Stefano.

Cardiff Blues

With a new head coach in Australian John Mulvihill – who previously coached Navan - the Blues have secured explosive 33-year-old USA international Samu Manoa to compete with Nick Williams for the number eight shirt, as well as covering second row.

RUGBY 2018: USA Men's Rugby Team vs Scotland Men's Rugby Team Maria Lysaker Manoa made his name with Northampton. Maria Lysaker

Once-capped Wales international lock Rory Thornton is a strong addition on loan from the Ospreys for the season, while Moldovan international tighthead Dmitri Arhip has made a permanent move from the Ospreys.

The Blues’ recruitment is completed by former Wales U20 international centre/wing Jason Harries from Edinburgh and 22-year-old hooker Liam Belcher from the Dragons.


The South African side have lost a number of important players – including Uzair Cassiem, Clayton Blommetjies and Niel Marais – but will be targeting the Pro14 play-offs again this season.

Louis Fouche kicks at goal Photosport / Joseph Johnson/INPHO Louis Fouché was with the Southern Kings in 2016. Photosport / Joseph Johnson/INPHO / Joseph Johnson/INPHO

There are two new out-halves in the shape of former Bulls man Louis Fouché, back in South Africa after a spell in Japan, and 26-year-old Tian Schoeman, who spent last season with Bordeaux.

South Africa U20-capped back row Aidon Davis has joined the Cheetahs from Bayonne, while centre Dries Swanepoel - who was close to linking up with Munster on a short-term basis last season – has come in from the Bulls.


The dynamic Robin Copeland will look to make the Connacht number eight shirt his own after joining from Munster this summer and following the retirement of John Muldoon.

SUPER RUGBY BRUMBIES HURRICANES AAP / PA Images Kyle Godwin finished the season superbly for the Brumbies. AAP / PA Images / PA Images

Out-half David Horwitz, who can also play inside centre, will compete with Jack Carty and Craig Ronaldson for the number 10 jersey after signing from the Waratahs.

Two further Australian signings will link up with new coach Andy Friend’s squad now that their Super Rugby commitments have concluded, with once-capped Wallabies inside centre Kyle Godwin and Rebels back row Colby Fainga’a having signed on.

Exciting Fijian wing Sevu Reece will join in November after his involvement in Waikato’s Mitre 10 Cup campaign.

26-year-old ex-Ulster hooker Johnny Murphy has signed from Rotherham, while 22-year-old Irish-qualified lock Joe Maksymiw joins from Leicester Tigers, after making his Premiership and Champions Cup debuts last season.


After a tough first season, Irish head coach Bernard Jackman has made major changes to his squad, with more than 20 players leaving and a huge number of new faces coming in.

Wales Ross Moriarty is tackled by Ireland’s Devin Toner Inpho / Billy Stickland Ross Moriarty is a big signing for the Dragons. Inpho / Billy Stickland / Billy Stickland

Abrasive Wales and Lions back row Ross Moriarty is a key signing from Gloucester, while 18-times capped tighthead Aaron Jarvis returns to Welsh club rugby after two seasons with Clermont.

34-year-old Richard Hibbard, who won 38 Wales caps and played for the Lions, adds experience after his move from Gloucester and Samoa back row/lock Brandon Nansen joins following a spell with Stade Français.

15-times capped Wales loosehead Ryan Bevington comes in from Bristol, as do three-times capped scrum-half Rhodri Williams and exciting fullback Jordan Williams.

The hulking 22-year-old back row/lock Huw Taylor, formerly an England U20 cap but also Welsh-qualified, is an interesting signing from Worcester, while pacy wing Dafydd Howells, who has a Wales cap on his CV, joins from Ospreys

Rhodri Davies is another new option at scrum-half, Josh Lewis comes in from the Bath to compete at out-half, while hooker Rhys Lawrence has joined from Ealing.

Finally, Jackman has signed two players from Welsh Premiership side RGC 1404 in South African-born centre Tiaan Loots and out-half Jacob Botica, the son of former All Black Frano Botica.


There has been plenty of change at Edinburgh too ahead of Richard Cockerill’s second season in charge, with Scotland captain John Barclay chief among the new faces after moving from Scarlets.

Tadhg Furlong with John Barclay Morgan Treacy / INPHO Barclay has returned to Scotland for his club rugby. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

39-times capped international Matt Scott returns to the club from Gloucester, 28-times capped scrum-half Henry Pyrgos joins from Glasgow, and there’s another new Scotland international in the shape of back row Luke Hamilton, signed from Leicester.

24-year-old South African loosehead Pierre Schoeman could be a strong signing from the Bulls, while 24-year-old Kiwi out-half Simon Hickey is an astute addition from Bordeaux.

Argentina international Juan Pablo Socino adds depth in midfield, Italy-capped tighthead Pietro Ceccarelli joins from Oyonnax, Fijian back row Senitiki Nayalo comes in from London Irish, and Scottish hooker David Cherry has joined.

Glasgow Warriors

Dave Rennie’s side, who reached the semi-finals last season, have brought in Wallabies scrum-half Nick Frisby following his stint at Bordeaux last season after he fell out of favour at the Queensland Reds.

SUPER RUGBY REDS SHARKS AAP / PA Images Frisby has plenty of Super Rugby experience. AAP / PA Images / PA Images

USA international back row David Tameilau has joined from Utah in  Major League Rugby, while four-times capped Scotland hooker George Turner joins permanently from Edinburgh after spending last season on loan at Glasgow.

Kevin Bryce, who can play hooker or tighthead, returns to the club and 21-year-old New Zealand-born flanker Thomas Gordon joins from Scottish Premiership side Currie.


While the reigning champions have seen Isa Nacewa, Jamie Heaslip and Richardt Strauss retire, as well as bidding Jordi Murphy good luck in Ulster and losing Joey Carbery to Munster, they have not recruited heavily.

Robbie Henshaw and Joe Tomane James Crombie / INPHO Joe Tomane is onboard at Leinster. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Aside from the likes of Jordan Larmour and Caelan Doris moving up from academy contracts, their only confirmed addition is the powerful Wallabies-capped centre/wing Joe Tomane from Montpellier.


Munster, meanwhile, have five new faces in their squad, with the 12-times capped 22-year-old out-half Joey Carbery perhaps the most notable.

In turnover machine Tadhg Beirne, Johann van Graan’s side are welcoming one of the best players in the Pro14 after his superb spell with the Scarlets in Wales.

Joey Carbery Dan Sheridan / INPHO Carbery will look to nail down Munster's 10 shirt. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Irish-qualified fullback Mike Haley should prove a strong signing after impressing for Sale Sharks in the Premiership, while South African back row Arno Botha - capped twice by the Springboks – adds power.

Fans of the Ulster Bank League will know 25-year-old scrum-half Neil Cronin‘s quality well, with the Garryowen man looking to step up and compete with Conor Murray, Duncan Wiliams and James Hart.


With former Ireland international Allen Clarke installed as permanent head coach, the Ospreys have welcomed a couple of big names to the region in the shape of 76-cap Wales wing George North, still only 26-years-old, and powerful centre Scott Williams.

George North and Rob Kearney Bryan Keane / INPHO George North has come in from Northampton. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Joining from Northampton and the Scarlets, respectively, the Welsh backs will add serious firepower to the Ospreys’ backline.

Wales scrum-half Aled Davies, formerly understudy to Gareth Davies at the Scarlets, is another clever signing, while Wales 7s’ all-time top try-scorer Luke Morgan will be one to watch as he returns to the club from the seven-man code.

South African tighthead Tom Botha joins from the Cheetahs, Moldovan tighthead Gheorghe Gajion comes in from France’s Fédérale 1, Argentinian back row Guido Volpi has signed from Narbonne and Namibian centre/wing Lesley Klim has moved from Doncaster.


Last season’s beaten finalists have been busy in the transfer market ahead of Wayne Pivac’s last full season in charge before he takes the Wales job, with Maori All Blacks and Hurricanes back row/lock Blade Thomson set to join after the Super Rugby season.

SUPER RUGBY BRUMBIES HURRICANES AAP / PA Images The rangy Blade Thomson could be an important addition after the departure of Tadhg Beirne. AAP / PA Images / PA Images

Springbok back row Uzair Cassiem and fullback Clayton Blommetjies have signed from the Cheetahs, while Samoa centre Kieron Fonotia shifts from the Ospreys and Scotland scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has come in from Edinburgh.

Former Wales U20 cap Angus O’Brien adds out-half depth, Welsh-qualified Aussie flanker Ed Kennedy is a wildcard signing from Randwick, and Welsh scrum-half Kieran Hardy comes in from Jersey.

Southern Kings

After an extremely disappointing first season in the championship, in which they won just a single game, the Port Elizabeth-based side will be hoping for much better in 2018/19.

Sarel Pretorius after his team scores a try Alex Davidson / INPHO Sarel Pretorius returns to South Africa. Alex Davidson / INPHO / INPHO

Experienced 34-year-old scrum-half Sarel Pretorius has joined from the Dragons, second row pair Schalk Oelofse and JC Astle have returned after two seasons with French side Mont-de-Marsan, and Fijian 7s-capped centre/wing Meli Rokoua comes in from Portuguese club rugby.


The northern province are another team looking to bounce back this season, and new 24-year-old Irish-qualified out-half Billy Burns will hope to play a key role after joining from Gloucester, for whom he played more than 100 times.

Leinster's Jordi Murphy Billy Stickland / INPHO Jordi Murphy is an important signing for Ulster. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Ireland international back row Jordi Murphy is a big signing from Leinster, while 10-times capped tighthead Marty Moore is back in Ireland after two seasons with Premiership side Wasps.

25-year-old Irish-qualified centre/wing Will Addison is another intelligent signing, joining from Sale Sharks – where he was club captain – and he has already spent time in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland camp.

Second row Alex Thompson, who was previously let go by Ulster but shone last season in the Ulster Bank League with Terenure, has returned to the province.


Michael Bradley’s team have signed former Bulls out-half Francois Brummer to compete with Carlo Canna for the out-half slot, while promising 21-year-old Italy-capped tighthead Giosuè Zilocchi joins from Italian club side Calvisano.

Jimmy Tuivaiti Bryan Keane / INPHO Jimmy Tuivaiti featured against Munster last season as a permit player. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Zebre have also secured Argentinian centre Nicolas De Battista, Fijian 7s international wing Paula Balekana,  Tongan back row/lock Matu Tevi, and Fijian lock/back row Apisai Tauyavuca.

Kiwi number eight Jimmy Tuivaiti joins permanently after featuring as a ‘permit player’ last season, as does loosehead Daniele Rimpelli, while promising hooker Massimo Ceciliani and lock Samuele Ortis have also joined.

- This article was updated at 8.19pm to correct an error stating that John Mulvihill previously coached Naas, rather than Navan.

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