Armitage one of three Welsh signings

Date published: April 24 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_guy-armitage-paul-grant-anglo-welsh-cup-rugby-union-oli-bryant-leicester-london-irish_3223880

London Welsh announced the signings of Josh Drauniniu, Martyn Thomas and Guy Armitage for the 2015/16 season.

Drauniniu is no stranger to Welsh supporters having enjoyed a fantastic season at the club in 2010/11 when he scored 15 tries in 23 Championship appearances, and helped the Exiles reach the semi-finals.

The pacey and elusive winger left the Exiles in 2011 to join Worcester, where he has scored 24 tries in 54 appearances and finished the 2012/13 season as the Warriors' joint top try scorer.

Born in Suva, Fiji, Drauniniu joined the Royal Navy in 2003 at the age of 17 and saw active service in the Gulf in 2005. He made his debut in the annual Army versus Navy match at Twickenham in 2004 and after scoring 22 tries in his debut season for Exeter Chiefs caught the eye of the England Sevens selectors.

He made his international debut against Portugal in Dubai in 2008 and earned a place in England's 2009 Sevens World Cup squad. Drauniniu spent a season at Harlequins before joining London Welsh in 2010.

Former Wales U20 full back Thomas joins London Welsh from Wasps.

A free running attacking full-back, who can also play wing, Thomas has the ability to break the line on a regular basis and is dynamic from broken play.

He began his career at Llanelli Scarlets, for whom he scored two tries in five first-team appearances in 2006/07 including a try on his debut against Northampton Saints, before joining Newport Gwent Dragons during that season.

Thomas went on to score 14 tries in 83 appearances for the Rodney Parade club before making the move to Gloucester and the Aviva Premiership in 2012. He made 39 appearances in his two seasons at Kingsholm.

Thomas, who started the season with French club Masse, also enjoyed a spell with Coventry in National League Division One before joining Wasps in February until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Thomas also represented Wales at U18, U19 and Sevens, and won a Grand Slam with Wales U19 in 2006 alongside current London Welsh players James Down and Rob and James Lewis.

Armitage is another to have previously pulled on a London Welsh jersey and joins from London Irish.

Armitage came through the academy at Irish and has developed a reputation as an athletic and powerful centre (he stands 6ft 5in tall and tips the scales at 17st 7lbs), who has represented England at U20.

He made his debut for Irish in a 39-14 loss to Sale Sharks in the LV= Cup in 2010 and has gone on to make 43 appearances for the club, scoring eight tries. He enjoyed a short stint at Toulon alongside older brothers Delon and Steffon, but returned to Irish for the 2012/13 season, initially on loan from the Top 14 side before making the switch permanent.

The centre made his debut for Welsh, while on loan from Irish, as a replacement in a 20-15 win over Plymouth Albion at Old Deer Park in November 2011. He went on to make three starts for Welsh the following season in the club's Championship winning campaign.

He represented England at the 2011 U20 Junior World Championships in Italy.

London Welsh Director of Rugby Steve Lewis said: "Josh, Martyn and Guy are three exciting players with proven ability in the top flight. They will add a dynamism to our back play next season and complement the style of rugby we want to play.

"Josh is a fantastic finisher and enjoyed a brilliant season at the club in 2010/11 and we hope he can reproduce that form, while Martyn is an intelligent rugby player who can break the line, and create space and opportunities for others. Guy is a really exciting and developing talent in the game, and we expect to see great things from him next season."

COMMENTS