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Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
akb1 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 11:57
[www.quins.co.uk]


Harlequins is delighted to announce that Academy members Gabriel Ibitoye, Dino Lamb, Niall Saunders and Calum Waters have all extended their time at the Club.

Confirming their new contracts, Harlequins Director of Rugby, John Kingston said: "I am delighted that we have secured contract renewals with four of our highly talented young players, in the shape of Calum, Gabs, Dino and Niall.

"They all have very bright futures ahead of them given the talent and determined attitude they possess.

"Harlequins has a wonderful record of bringing through players from the Academy and it is a reputation we are strongly driving to continue."

Joining the full time Harlequins Academy for the 2016/17 season, Gabriel Ibitoye's first Harlequins appearances came in November 2017. Ibitoye opened his try-scoring account for Harlequins with a stunning try against Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership, racing in from inside his own 22.

On the international stage, Ibitoye has represented England at U18 and U20 level; winning the 2017 U20 Six Nations and finishing as England's top try scorer at the U20 World Rugby Championship of the same year.

Confirming his contract extension, Ibitoye said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to re-sign at this great club. We have an exciting group of boys who I believe can do something special over the next few years.

"It excites me that I'll be able to work closely with the coaching staff and players to help improve my skills and take me to the next level as a young player."


Back rower Dino Lamb has enjoyed a breakout season in the quartered shirt this term after joining the full time Academy for the 2016/17 season. The former Cranleigh School student made his debut for Harlequins away to Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership in September 2017 and scored his first try for the Club against Worcester Warriors in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

A diverse forward - who can also cover the second row - Lamb also represented England in the U20s World Rugby Championship in the summer of 2017.

On his new deal, Lamb added: "I'm really excited to have signed on with such a prestigious club.

"To be surrounded by some of the best players and coaching staff has massively benefited me so far - especially this season - and I'm really excited to continue the journey and push on."


Scrum-half Niall Saunders has also put pen to paper on a new contract after making his debut for the Club in this season's Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Worcester Warriors.

Former Epsom College student Saunders is the son of former Ireland scrum-half Rob Saunders and has represented Ireland at U18, U19 and U20 levels. Joining the Academy ahead of the 2016/17 season, Saunders has also represented Harlequins at 7s.

After being released at the end of last season due to medical reasons, Saunders returned to Harlequins ahead of securing a new contract in the Academy.

On his new contract, Saunders added: "I'm very excited to have re-signed for the Club after what had happened last year, it was something I knew would be a long and tough road back, not only emotionally and mentally but physically as well.

"It's great to be back in the environment of so many world class players, to feed off their knowledge and to also work out why they’re at the top of their game, especially the likes of Danny [Care]; someone I think plays the most exciting rugby as a nine in world rugby.

"It's been a massive learning curve for myself and feel I've come out stronger in all aspects, I'm really looking forward to the future and being involved with Harlequins again.”


Fellow scrum-half Calum Waters has been involved with the Harlequins Academy since May 2015, joining aged 18. Waters scored on his Harlequins debut away to Exeter Chiefs in March 2017 and has made two further appearances this season in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

A speedy and diminutive number nine, Waters has also represented the club at 7s and 10s level.

Confirming his extension with the Club, Waters said: "I'm thrilled to have re-signed with the Club. I'm really looking forward to developing my game further as a scrum-half under the coaches we have here as well with the guidance of senior players such as Danny [Care] and Dave [Lewis].

"I'm excited to kick on at Harlequins over the next couple of seasons and add to the number of appearances I have made so far for this great club."

Player profiles

Gabriel Ibitoye
Wing
D.O.B: 05/03/1998
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 92kg

Dino Lamb
Back Row
D.O.B: 18/04/1998
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 108kg

Calum Waters
Scrum-half
D.O.B: 31/08/1996
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 78kg

Niall Saunders
Scrum-half
D.O.B: 21/12/1997
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 88kg

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
HonkyTonk (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 11:59
Happy with that.

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
talkshowhost86 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 12:02
Anyone know what happened with Saunders and why we released him and then he rejoined the academy?

Good to see we're still keeping our focus on the academy. I haven't seen much of Waters or any of Saunders, but I've been impressed with the little I've seen of Lamb, and whilst Ibitoye is still very raw defensively (understandable for his age), he looks like with a bit of decent coaching he could be a pretty explosive winger.

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
RodneyRegis (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 12:03
Great smiling smiley

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
HonkyTonk (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 12:21
Quote:
talkshowhost86
Anyone know what happened with Saunders and why we released him and then he rejoined the academy?
Good to see we're still keeping our focus on the academy. I haven't seen much of Waters or any of Saunders, but I've been impressed with the little I've seen of Lamb, and whilst Ibitoye is still very raw defensively (understandable for his age), he looks like with a bit of decent coaching he could be a pretty explosive winger.

It was just announced at the time as "Medical issue/condition" I believe. I know he has been on DR to Esher this season and has a couple of tries. It was only 7s but the tournament at the start of the season I thought he looked one of our best players. Plenty of pace (likewise Waters). We have got ourselves a good couple of SH there I would say.

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
talkshowhost86 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 12:33
Quote:
HonkyTonk
Quote:
talkshowhost86
Anyone know what happened with Saunders and why we released him and then he rejoined the academy?
Good to see we're still keeping our focus on the academy. I haven't seen much of Waters or any of Saunders, but I've been impressed with the little I've seen of Lamb, and whilst Ibitoye is still very raw defensively (understandable for his age), he looks like with a bit of decent coaching he could be a pretty explosive winger.

It was just announced at the time as "Medical issue/condition" I believe. I know he has been on DR to Esher this season and has a couple of tries. It was only 7s but the tournament at the start of the season I thought he looked one of our best players. Plenty of pace (likewise Waters). We have got ourselves a good couple of SH there I would say.

Sounds promising.

It was a real shame that Waters got injured during our SH crisis actually. Much as I'm sure Kitto is more up to the pace at the top level, would have been good to see a bit of Waters in those games as I've also heard he's pretty nippy (hasn't he been on the wing for the A team at times?)

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
HonkyTonk (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 12:46
Yep. He spent quite a bit of time at Esher also. I agree that I would rather have seen him have a run in the team (probably over Mulchrone and Lewis also). Im all for giving a few of these young guys a run, thats why I am pleased to see Cheeseman keep his place.

Said it before but the one thing that has come out of this injury crisis is the young guys have had a chance to get game time under their belt when in reality they might not have. That can only help them and in turn, Quins in the future.

 
Re: Academy quartet sign new deals at The Stoop
quinsfan123 (IP Logged)
13 January, 2018 10:48
To be honest not sure they are to the same standard of years gone by. Aside from Dino Lamb doubt they will have much of a future in a quins shirt. Waters and Saunders are certainly not true quins pedigree and don't know why we we releasing them and trying to poach better academy talent from other clubs. For example, Tom Whiteley at Sarries would be a much better bet than those two.


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