Raiders sign two but may lose Jake
RAIDERS have signed two of the four players they want on board for their return to National 2 rugby.
But doubts remain whether New Zealand scrum half Jake O’Connor will be around for the new campaign – his visa is due to run out at the end of the summer.
Director of rugby Jordan Reynolds would dearly love the impish O’Connor to stay for a tough 30-league game schedule, plus the two Siams next season.
‘It would be great to have him next season,’ said Reynolds.
‘He is still around and at present is not [allowed] going anywhere.
‘“Jakey” wouldn’t be leaving because of choice and at the moment he’s working with the visa situation.’
O’Connor proved a big hit last season as Raiders topped the London and SE table at the season’s conclusion before a calculation dropped them to official
runner-up spot behind Rochford Hundred.
‘We are not giving up hope on Jake.
‘We would love to keep Jake, who is a fantastic player and clubman,’ added Reynolds, who is aiming to sign two new backs on top of the two forwards he has recruited.
Daniel Morgan is a young Welsh specialist hooker and back-rower who has just finished university.
His presence will take some of the heat off regular No. 2 Tom Ceillam.
The other confirmed singing is Hugo Culverhouse, who has been playing for Richmond while completing his studies at nearby St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
‘He is a second row/back row player, a big ball carrier, a good utility guy who will add to our depth.
‘We are talking to a couple more but haven’t finalised anything yet.
‘It is pretty tough climate to be looking for guys, but we potentially have a few coming in.’
There is also the boost of former GRC Academy player Dan Rice, a fly half/full back, returning having completed his studies at St Mary’s to join his brother Dom in the Raiders squad.
Ben Holland may also return from New Zealand but Reynolds is uncertain on the young scrum half’s immediate plans.