x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Vickerman returning as a Saint

Dan Vickerman, the former Australia lock, has joined the European Challenge Cup winners, Northampton, on an initial one-year deal.

Dan Vickerman, the former Australia lock, has joined the European Challenge Cup winners, Northampton, on an initial one-year deal. Vickerman, who won 54 caps for the Wallabies and played in two World Cups before retiring last year to undertake a land economy degree at Cambridge University, was a target for Saracens last season but the 29-year-old has decided he will be able to combine his studies with playing for the Saints.

"Northampton is a club that has made great strides with the results that the team have had this year," said Vickerman. "I've no regrets about moving [from Australia]. Cambridge is a great place and it has been fantastic fun. "Having said that, you always miss playing rugby at the highest level. I was fortunate to experience rugby at that level but sometimes you have to move on." Gloucester have signed former Ireland Under-21 prop Paul Doran-Jones on a two-year deal from London Welsh.

Doran-Jones, 24, can play on both sides of the scrum and will help fill the void left by departing Italian prop Carlos Nieto. Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan said: "Paul's had a very good grounding in National League Division One and more than held his own against some very good front rows. "We think he's one for the future and can develop into a very good Premiership player." Doran-Jones played for England at Under-18 level before switching his allegiance to represent Ireland in the Under-19 Six Nations and Under-21 World Cup.

* With agencies