Kieran Duffin and Tom Harrison make switch to Cambridge Rugby Club

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 June 2018

ILIFFE

Four new arrivals at Volac Park in a week

Richie Williams has bolstered Cambridge Rugby Club’s squad ahead of the 2018/19 National League One season.

Scrum-half Kieran Duffin and prop Tom Harrison are the latest recruits, adding to last week’s arrivals of lock Gillian Benoy and prop Zianna Alexis.

Duffin, 23, has spent the last two seasons playing for Palmyra Rugby Club in Western Australia, and was also part of the set-up of Western Force, when they were in the Super Rugby league.

Previously, Duffin had been part of the Wasps and Bedford Blues academy, while also appearing for Ampthill in National League One.

“He is someone that will give us a little bit more leadership at half-back,” said new Cambridge head coach Williams.

“He’s someone that’s played a lot of rugby and experienced different styles of attacking rugby. He is just a very good organiser that will give us a bit strength in depth at scrum-half next season.”

Harrison will also bring plenty of experience to Volac Park, having previously played for Plymouth Albion and Darlington Mowden Park.

The 26-year-old prop is the AASE programme manager and academy coach at Leicester Tigers, and was last season a player-coach at South Leicester.

“He will come in predominantly as a player but will do some scrummaging work with our forwards so is a very exciting signing and someone that I think can give our give forwards another edge next season and give our set piece a bit more of a boost,” said Williams.

“He is very experienced and had a lot of National League One experience which will help our front five. He is more comfortable at loose-head but he can, at a push, cover tight-head also.”

Alexis, 22, was formerly with Ealing Trailfinders on a development contract and spent a period on loan at Rosslyn Park. He has also made half a dozen appearances for Saracens A.

“He is really talented, a good scrummager and a very effective ball carrier and someone that I think will fit in around the club,” said Williams.

Benoy, 23, can play in the second or back rows and is an international with Belgium XVs and sevens, and the head coach said: “He is a really talented player and I think if he’d been brought up in the UK, he’d be with a Premiership team now; he’s got that much talent.

Williams has coached both players in the past, and added: “All the players that we’ve approached and signed fit the profile of what we wanted to look for in the off-season.

“They are positions where we needed to strengthen looking ahead to next season.”

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