The five biggest signings of the new Premiership season
By Rugby Onslaught

The five biggest signings of the new Premiership season

There is a lot of uncertainty in the Gallagher Premiership at the moment regarding the future of some clubs, and alongside the salary cap, clubs have had to let swathes of players go. That has not stopped teams from recruiting this season though, and there are some huge names not only arriving in the Premiership, but moving between clubs. Here are five of the biggest:

George Ford- Leicester Tigers to Sale Sharks
George Ford seems to be quite a divisive figure in English rugby, with opinions amongst fans ranging from him not being Test standard to the view that he should be Eddie Jones’ starting No10. What is less divisive though is that he is one of the top performers in the Premiership, and if last season is anything to go by, where he guided Leicester to the title, he is at the top of his game. With the 29-year-old looking to be out of the England picture at the moment, Sale have not only bagged maybe the most influential player in the league, but one that will be with them all season.

Ellis Genge- Leicester Tigers to Bristol Bears
After a disappointing performance last season by their standards compared to the previous campaign, Bristol have gone big this summer, and there are not many bigger signings, literally and figuratively, than Ellis Genge. If Ford was maybe Leicester’s most important player last season, their captain Genge was not far behind. He backed up an excellent campaign with a huge tour down under against the Wallabies, and now returns to his hometown club in the form of his life.

Handre Pollard- Montpellier to Leicester Tigers
Losing your star fly-half is not so bad when you can replace him with a World Cup winning No10, and that is exactly what Leicester have done this season, bringing in Handre Pollard from Montpellier. The 28-year-old is on song with the boot currently in the Springboks jersey in the Rugby Championship, which bodes well for all at Welford Road. On top of that, Steve Borthwick will have a world class player at his disposal for the rest of the season after the autumn internationals, which is perhaps why South Africa internationals are so sought after in England.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto- Reds to Northampton Saints
Last season was a promising one for Northampton, as they reached the semi-finals, eventually losing to Leicester. While their backline was one of the most fluid and threatening in the league, they have strengthened their pack this year by brining in 25-cap Wallaby Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the second row. The 25-year-old lock offers the versatility that Courtney Lawes does at the Saints, covering both lock and the back row, and is stylistically quite similar to the Englishman. No coach on Earth would turn down having two players like that.

Vincent Koch- Saracens to Wasps
A member of South Africa’s fabled ‘Bomb Squad’, Vincent Koch is a huge arrival for Wasps amid a summer where they have seen plenty of their star players leave. But they have gone back to basics with this signing, bringing in an out and out world class scrummager, as ultimately, no scrum no win. As far as winning mentalities go, you won’t find a player that has experienced more success over the past five years on the club and Test scene, winning Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup titles with Saracens and a World Cup, Rugby Championship and a British & Irish Lions series with the Springboks.