London Irish bolster front row stocks

Date published: October 12 2017

London Irish have bolstered their front row options with the signing of former England Under-20 hooker Tom Woolstencroft.

A World Rugby U20 Championship winner with England in 2014, the 23-year-old launched his career at Bath Rugby where he came through the academy ranks under the watchful eye of former England lock Danny Grewcock.

Making the transition from back row to hooker following advice from Grewcock, Woolstencroft made his senior debut for Bath in the LV= Cup in 2014. The versatile forward was also part of the club’s Premiership Rugby A League-winning side the same year, underlining his growing potential in the game.

Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young came calling for his services ahead of the 2016/17 season, but injury curtailed his time at the Ricoh Arena, with Woolstencroft training with Ealing Trailfinders last season in a bid to get himself fully match fit.

Monitoring Woolstencroft’s progress with a keen eye, Exiles’ director of rugby Nick Kennedy is pleased to have acquired his services.

Speaking ahead of this Saturday’s European Rugby Challenge Cup opener against Edinburgh Rugby at the Madejski Stadium, Woolstencroft is excited at the prospect of pulling on the iconic green jersey.

“I can’t wait to get stuck in and show what I can do,” said Woolstencroft, who hails from Somerset.

“London Irish is a massive club with big ambitions, and I’m delighted to be working alongside a good group of guys.

“Nick Kennedy spoke to me a few times prior to my move here and his vision of the club excited me.”

“Tom is a very talented player and significantly strengthens our front row options,” said Exiles’ boss Kennedy.

“We are delighted to welcome him to London Irish and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team.”