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Former London Irish and Yorkshire Carnegie hooker signs for Cambridge Rugby Club in National League One

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Mike Mayhew will bring Premiership experience to Cambridge Rugby Club’s front row after joining them for the forthcoming National League One season.

The 32-year-old New Zealander has arrived to strengthen the options at hooker, alongside Alex Rayment, who had a strong finish to last campaign, and fellow newboy Will Priestley, who has joined from Coventry.

Mayhew started his career at North Harbour in his homeland before making the switch to the UK to join Wasps.

He was at Newcastle from 2011 to 2013, where he played alongside his brother Richard, and then signed for London Irish in the Aviva Premiership in 2013, staying with the club for two years.

He returned to Waikato for 2015/16, but was back on these shores with Yorkshire Carnegie, before spending the end of last season at Doncaster Knights.

The arrival boosts Cambridge after the retirement of skipper Ean Griffiths and Cam Ruddock’s departure to Barnes.

Cambridge head coach Richie Williams said: “Mike ticks all of the boxes that we are looking for and I have been really impressed by his attitude and work ethic.

“Culturally, Mike can transfer his playing and lifestyle experiences from growing up in New Zealand to help drive the team’s standards on and off the field.

“He is really excited by the new challenge and the club have been instrumental in helping him and his partner off the field.

“At 32 years of age, he will be another driver of our culture and support the younger players in our group.”

Mayhew said: “I’m really pleased to have signed with Cambridge for the next two seasons. After speaking with Richie, and hearing where the club wants to go I’m keen to add my experience and help the club move forward.

“Looking forward to attacking a good pre-season with the guys and hit the season running. Frustrating last season with injury but couldn’t feel better now and the desire to play good rugby couldn’t be higher."

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