5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland U19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday 14th December has been announced.
James, capped 41 times, will leave the Celtic Warriors for a two-year deal with Quins and joins the alarming exodus of top class players out of the Principality since thye season finished. The 28-year-old featured in all three test matches for the British and Irish Lions during their 2001 tour of Australia, having made his Wales debut against the Wallabies in 1996.
James joins Wales's record try scorer Gareth Thomas and fly-half Stephen Jones, who signed for French clubs Toulouse and Montferrand respectively.
Ireland international Jeremy Staunton will join James at The Stoop next season. The fly half, who can play at full back, is also on a two-year contract after leaving Munster.
Tight head prop Maurice Fitzgerald moves from French side Biarritz and 22-year-old winger Joe Mbu has joined from Bath. "We are delighted to welcome this group of players to the Stoop," said Harlequins Chief Executive Mark Evans. "They range from the experienced international in the form of Dafydd James, through to the exciting potential of Joe Mbu, as we look forward to planning what we hope will be another successful season, including our return to the European Cup. I'm confident all four will make a significant contribution to the squad."
Quins are expecting to sign three futher players during the pre-season. As well as retiring England legend Jason Leonard, Bill Davison, Rob Jewell, Matt Moore, Scott Bemand, Ben Willis Laurent Gomez, Pat Sanderson, Paul Burke and Chris Bell are leaving the club.
England Rugby Limited (ERL) confirmed yesterday that Worcester will definitely play in the Premiership next season. Rotherham will be replaced by the National League One champions, following the relegated side's threat of a legal challenge.
Worcester's promotion was ratified by the ERL board after a meeting Tuesday. The Midlands side met all the critiera for Premiership entry.
A final decision had been delayed while ERL sought advice following Rotherham's threat. Worcester failed to meet a March 31st deadline for satisfying Premiership criteria, Rotherham claimed.
But ambitious Worcester, who are backed by multi-millionaire Cecil Duckworth, can now look forward to rubbing shoulders with the English elite.
They had already stated their intent to not repeat Rotherham's relative lack of ambition and desperate season where they failed to win a match by signing experienced French international centre Thomas Lombard on Monday.
AFP - 2004.