Thursday, February 6, 2014
Tuisamoa, L'Estrange Set To Join London Welsh
Two more Eagles will be heading overseas as Tai Tuisamoa and Toby L'Estrange are on the verge of signing contracts with London Welsh according to Eagles head coach Mike Tolkin. L'Estrange is signed for at least until the end of the season while it is not clear how long Tuisamoa will be there. Both join a London Welsh team that finds itself in the hunt for promotion to the Aviva Premiership. The Exiles led for most of the season but gave up the lead to Rotherham this last weekend. They are only two points back in the standings. There are also a number of teams in solid positions. Nine weeks remain in the regular season. The top four teams at the end of the regular season then play a home and away semi-final before a home and away final for promotion.
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The moves will benefit not only both players but also the Eagles as they get more and more players training in a difficult environment. L'Estrange has had his detractors while in an Eagles jersey but at the same time has had some very positive moments. He had a solid ARC and November tour in 2012 and was poised to play well this autumn before getting injured. It will be interesting to see if L'Estrange plays fly-half for the club or is moved to fullback or center. A position switch may not help build the Eagles depth at fly-half but it would be a boost for L'Estrange. Even training with London Welsh and possibly playing on loan to a National League One side will be better for L'Estrange than playing for NYAC in DI.
Tuisamoa really has the chance to excel while with London Welsh. He was one of the breakout players of the fall. When paired with Samu Manoa in the locks he was unstoppable against Russia. He's a bit older for a first time overseas player but he has all the physical tools. It would surprise us to see him starting for the club by the end of the year. Tuisamoa would have been guaranteed good time against good opponents in the Pacific Rugby Premiership with OMBAC but this move is a definite step up.
Another player is also on the verge of signing overseas. We'll have details on that for you later in the week.