Friday, September 17, 2010

Bath Sign two International Secondrowers from the Americas

Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders after two rounds, Bath Rugby, have confirmed the signing of USA international second rower John van der Giessen on a three month signing to provide cover for the teams injured players in this position. van der Giessen has played 13 tests for the USA since making his debut in 2008. He only started playing rugby in 2001. van de Giessen captained University of Idaho Rugby from 2004-2005 and played professionally in New Zealand for Hawkes Bay in 2006. Despite being new to rugby, he was called into the USA squad for Rugby World Cup 2007 after veteran Luke Gross was injured. He did not play a match at France 2007 and instead made his test debut for the USA in the 2008 Churchill Cup.

His quick rise to greatness was capped off in the 2010 Churchill Cup when he was selected as USA captain in place of the injured Todd Clever. His selection was on the back of two years of performances for the USA Eagles as a first choice player. After impressing for the USA Eagles in 2008 he was signed by Albi to play in the French Top 14 for the 2009-2010 season. Today´s announcement marks the lattest chapter in van der Giessen´s successful career and should result in him improving as a player and entering Rugby World Cup 2011 in great condition.

van der Giessen will be joined by Ignacio ´Nacho´ Fernández Lobbe who is a former Argentine secondrower who played at three Rugby World Cup´s and is the older brother of current Pumas backrower, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. Nacho has signed for the full season after playing the previous two seasons for the Northampton Saints who were beaten semi-finalists last season in what was the Guinness Premiership. Nacho also previously played for the Sale Sharks from 2005-2008 and was part of the Championship winning side in 2006. He also previously played in France for Bordeaux and Castres. In total his professional carrer spans more than a decade after making his mark for Los Pumas at Rugby World Cup 1999.

Nacho played a total of 60 tests for Argentina before retiring in June 2008 to make way for the next generation. In addition to doing well at Rugby World Cup 1999, he was a key part of the Pumas forward pack at France 2007 and stared in the win vs Ireland.

Bath will play Nacho´s former team, Northampton tonight at Franklin Gardens in Northampton.

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