Yorkshire Carnegie have announced three more new signings for next season, all in the back line.
Fly half Joe Ford re-joins the club on a two year contract from Aviva Premiership side Sale Sharks. The 25-year-old has made 47 appearances for the Sharks since joining them in 2013. Ford started his career with Carnegie back in 2009. He then moved to Northampton Saints for a year before returning in 2012 for a further two seasons at Headingley Carnegie. In total, Joe has made 63 appearances for the club already.
Alex Davies, who can play at either scrum half or fly half, joins on a two year contract from Ealing Trailfinders. Davies joined Ealing Trailfinders this season from London Welsh having twice won promotion with the Exiles to the Aviva Premiership having joined them in 2011. An accomplished goal kicker, in total he scored 572 points in 77 appearances for London Welsh. Prior to joining the Exiles, the 28-year-old played for Plymouth Albion, Waterloo and Sale Sharks Academy.
Finally England Sevens international Alex Gray, 24, joins on one year contract when his commitments with the England Sevens squad end this summer. The former Newcastle and London Irish back rower will switch to the centre with Yorkshire Carnegie having developed his game during his time in international Sevens. A distinguished record in age group rugby pointed Alex Gray towards the top level and a new career as a full-time England Sevens player. Alex received the accolade of being the 2015 RPA Sevens Player of the Year. Alex led England U16, U18 and U20 to Grand Slams and signed his first professional contract for Newcastle Falcons at the age of 17. He stayed with them until 2011 before two seasons with London Irish. Alex joined the England Sevens group for 2013-14. Born in Bishop Auckland, he was educated at Barnard Castle School.
The club have also confirmed that fly half Harry Leonard will leave the club this summer to allow him to look at other options for next season.
Commenting on the new recruits, Head Coach Bryan Redpath said, “Joe is obviously someone who knows our club very well having had two previous spells here. He has been a regular in the Sharks squad for the last three seasons and has played in some big games. Having worked with him, I know his qualities and I am looking forward to having him back at the club.
“Alex Davies can play 9 or 10 and has come with a real team mentality. He can blend play between the forwards and backs and offers us another option as a goal kicker. He is a good tactical kicker out of hand and is a composed place kicker under pressure.
“Alex Gray was originally a back rower but he has been involved with the England Sevens squad for a couple of years and we see him as an inside centre. He is someone who can bring that physicality as a big ball carrier to our side and also bring his offloading skills in our team. He was a back rower at Newcastle and I think he is coming into an age now when he wants to give that centre role a chance. I know there was a Premiership team that were looking at him as an option at centre and I am excited about the possibilities he offers us for next season. With his skill set, awareness of the contact area and his fitness levels from the Sevens game, I think he will be a great addition to the options we already have in the backs,” added Redpath.