Ampthill bring in several new faces

​Ampthill RUFC have brought in a number of new faces as they prepare for the new RFU Championship season.
New Ampthill signing James Johnston back in his days with Saracens.New Ampthill signing James Johnston back in his days with Saracens.
New Ampthill signing James Johnston back in his days with Saracens.

​As well as 16 of last season’s squad having been retained, the club confirmed this week that ten new forwards are also joining up with the Mob.

New Zealand-born tighthead prop James (JJ) Johnston arrives from Stade Nicois (Nice Rugby). Johnston boasts 170 Premiership appearances, a Premiership winners medal with Harlequins and 16 caps for his native Samoa.

The returning James Flynn joins from Saracens. Flynn was with the Mob in the club’s first season in the Championship before joining Jersey Reds where his performances earnt him a contract at Saracens.

Johnston will have competition for the No3 jersey from Luke Yendle who joins on loan from Dragons. Yendle is a Welsh U20 international with Championship experience at Jersey Reds in the 22/23 season.

Loosehead Jasper McGuire joined Saracens from Newcastle University this summer and will spend the season on loan with Ampthill to gain experience.

Hooker Ben Pogson joins Ampthill from Wasps Senior Academy where he started as a centre before moving to back-row and then hooker. Pogson spent some time training with Ampthill at the end of last season and made an appearance for the 1881s.

Another young hooker joining is Ben Chapman who comes from Cardiff University where he was named in the BUCS Rugby Team of the Season and has represented England Counties at U18 and England Students.

Welsh Lock Griff Evans joins from Scarlets along with Back Row Iestyn Rees. Both were members of Welsh Premiership club champions Llandovery last season.

Rees will compete with Ex-London Irishman Josh Smart for a place in the starting back row. Smart was on dual registration last season and made 11 appearances for the club.

Young Samoan Sam Asotasi has come on loan from Saracens. Asotasi can play anywhere across the back row and has represented Samoa A and U20s.

Turner said: “I’m really pleased with the recruitment this summer. We’ve added a good blend of youth and experience – the two James in the front row will be a force to be reckoned with and I’m excited to see what Luke, Iestyn and Griff bring to the Championship.”

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