The Top 50 Signings of the 2014/15 Season

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With the 2014/15 season kicking off around Europe over the next couple of weeks we take a look at the 50 best signings made this summer. The signings are ranked not just on the quality of the player signed, but also the value they add to the new team they are joining, make sure you let us know in the comments section if you agree…

50. Andy Powell, Dragons

Powell is a little bit of a risk for the Dragons after a disappointing run in Rugby League bit if he can perform he could be a key member of his sides back row with Faletau on international duty.

49. Kane Douglas, Leinster

With experience in Super Rugby Douglas will provide a solid option in the Leinster scrum. 14 Caps for the Wallabies won’t do him or Leinster any harm either.

48. Tom Guest, London Irish

The former Harlequins man will bring some much needed experience to the London Irish back row, always a consistent performer.

47. Tavis Knowly, Cardiff Blues

Knowly has had a mixed period at Gloucester and so will be looking to make a name for himself and break into the Welsh team ahead of the World Cup next year.

46. Robin Copeland, Munster

Cardiff Blues will have been hugely disappointed to see Copeland leaving, however Munster fans will be delighted to see a proven performer heading to Thomond Park.

45. Geoff Cross, London Irish

Cross joins a host of new signings at the Madjeski this year as Irish hope to improve on last seasons showing. Cross’s international experience could be key to creating a solid platform.

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44. Brice Dulin, Racing Metro

Dulin will be hoping that a move to the ambitious Parisian club will be enough for him to claim the 15 shirt in the French World Cup squad so he has plenty to prove.

43. Johan Goosen, Racing Metro

Goosen looks to be a great signing for Racing, however he already has Johnny Sexton ahead of him so would hardly be considered an integral signing for the club.

42. Juan Figallo, Saracens

The Argentine prop has been brought in to replace the departing Matt Stevens so has some big boots to fill but looks more than capable of the task ahead.

41. Sébastien Vahaamahina, Clermont

Vahaamahina will replace the experienced Nathan Hines bringing some much needed youthful power to the already impressive Clermont pack.

40. Benjamin Fall, Montpellier

Montpellier will be hoping to go one better than last season and make it through to the Top 14 final and will be hoping Fall can help them squeeze out victories in tight games.

39. James O’Connor, Toulon

O’Connor would be a fantastic signing for any club, he however ranks relatively low on this list as Toulon are hardly in need of full backs with Armitage and Halfpenny already at the club.

38. Regan King, Scarlets

King returns to the Scarlets after a sting in Clermont and is going to be absolutely key in helping plug the gap left by the departing Jonathan Davies.

37. Luke McLean, Sale Sharks

Losing Rob Miller will have been seen as a huge loss by the Sharks, so in Italian full back Luke McLean they have found a more experienced, if slightly less mobile replacement.

36. Lorenzo Cittadini, London Wasps

Cittadini will help provide Wasps with some much needed front row power as they look to improve on last month’s 7th placed finish.

35. Leonardo Ghiraldini, Leicester Tigers

Ghiraldini looks likely to join the Tigers as cover to begin with, however if he can break into the starting XV he could prove to be a very astute signing.

34. Zac Guildford, Clermont

Troubled former All Black Zac Guildford will be hoping to mimic James O’Connor’s recent road to recovery as he looks to rebuild his reputation in an exciting Clermont team.

33. Harry Robinson, Scarlets

Robinson is currently one of the most exciting wingers in Wales and will be hoping that a change of scene at the Scarlets is enough to help him jump up the international pecking order.

32. Alexis Palisson, Toulouse

Toulouse will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season and in signings like Alexis Palisson they may just have the talent to challenge for the Top 14 title.

31. Chris Cusiter, Sale Sharks

Cusiter’s ability to build a relationship with Danny Cipriani as quickly as possible could be key to the Sharks hopes of retaining a place in the top 6 in 2014/15.

30. Greig Laidlaw, Gloucester

Laidlaw looks to be a solid if slightly unspectacular signing by Gloucester. His experience and game management could be key to helping cure the inconsistencies of last season however.

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29. Alberto de Marchi, Sale Sharks

At times last season the Sale scrum really struggled against packs in the top 4, they will be hoping Italian prop Alberto de Marchi can help stabilise the scrum this season.

28. Soane Tonga’uiha, Oyonnax

Tonga’uiha suffered a disappoint debut season in the Top 14 with Racing Metro, however he could very easily become a key man in Oyonnax’s domestic campaign this time around.

27. Ben Te’o, Leinster

The merits of signing Te’o will largely be based on how quickly the league convert can adapt to union, if successful he could prove to be one of the buys of the season.

Brad Thorn

26. Brad Thorn, Leicester Tigers

Leicester are hardly desperate for players in the second row, however when the opportunity to sign a player with Thorn’s experience comes along you don’t turn it down.

25. Alapeti Leiua, London Wasps

Leiua could help add some much needed impetus to the Wasps midfield this season and with the likes of Wade and Varndell outside him he could prove absolutely lethal.

24. Joshua Furno, Newcastle Falcons

Furno was one of Italy’s stand out players in the 2014 Six Nations, if he can find that kind of form for the Falcons then he could be a real game changer in their likely relegation battle.

23. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Harlequins

The former Chiefs man will be coming into the Harlequins straight off the back of a gruelling Super Rugby season, however could be an excellent signing if he adapts quickly.

22. Pierrick Gunther, Lyon

The former Toulon flanker may not have received the game time he wanted with the Top 14 champions but looks like he could be a key man for newly promoted Lyon.

21. Ben Mowen, Montpellier

Montpellier have a huge gap to fill as Georgian Mamuka Gorgodze departs to Toulon, however if former Wallaby captain Mowen can adapt he could be a key man in his sides Top 14 challenge.

20. Mils Muliaina, Connacht

Muliaina may not be quite as young as he once was but this shouldn’t take away from what a great signing Connacht have made, he really could prove to be their game changer this year.

Adam Jones

19. Adam Jones, Cardiff Blues

The Welsh tighthead may have suffered a disappointing season for club and country, however even on a poor day he could be the difference for the Blues in the Pro 12.

18. Olly Barkley, London Welsh

Barkley may have endured a disappointing stint in France over the past couple of seasons but his Premiership experience may just help keep Welsh in the league this season.

17. Leigh Halfpenny, Toulon

Toulon were hardly desperate for a new full back, however Halfpenny’s kicking ability could be key to helping replace the loss of Jonny Wilkinson.

16. James Hook, Gloucester

Hook will be seen as a key signing by the fans in the Shed as they look to replace the departed Freddie Burns.

15. Freddie Burns, Leicester Tigers

Burns had a truly awful season at Gloucester in 2013/14, however showed his class during England’s tour of New Zealand and will be key to replacing Toby Flood at Leicester.

14. Richard Hibbard, Gloucester

The Gloucester pack was woeful last season being pushed all over the place, they will be hoping the Welsh hooker can help shore things up a bit this time around.

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13. Jim Hamilton, Saracens

The retirement of Steve Borthwick has left a huge void in the Saracens pack, however Hamilton seems like the ideal man to step in and lead from the front this time around.

12. George Smith, Lyon

The former Wallaby may have had a nomadic couple of years, however if he gets back to anywhere near his best he could be key to Lyon’s survival hopes this year.

11. Gio Aplon, Grenoble

Aplon looks a very astute signing by Grenoble as they look to add a finishing touch to their solid pack, and if in the Springbok they have just the man to unpick tight defences.

10. Alofa Alofa, La Rochelle

Newly promoted La Rochelle mustn’t be able to believe their luck as they sign the former rugby league man in a bid to stave off the threat of relegation.

9. Jonathan Davies, Clermont

Clermont are currently undergoing a fairly significant overhaul of the squad and will be hoping Welshman Davies can recreate his Lions form in the Top 14.

8. Toby Flood, Toulouse

Flood looks to have a fight on his hands to claim the number 10 shirt at Toulouse, but if he can remain consistent then there’s every chance he could steer his side to another Top 14 title.

7. John Afoa, Gloucester

Afoa has been an incredible servant for Ulster over the years and now looks like he could be key to reviving Gloucester’s top 4 hopes as he will help get their pack on the front foot.

6. Sitiveni Sivivatu, Castres

One of the best players in the Top 14, Clermont will see Sivivatu as a huge loss whilst Castres will see him as the man to help them reclaim their Top 14 title from Toulon.

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5. Marland Yarde, Harlequins

Yarde bounced back from a season plagued by injuries for England this summer and looks like he will be an ideal fit for Harlequins ambitious style of play this year.

4. Mamuka Gorgodze, Toulon

Toulon are hardly desperate for back row players, however in Gorgodze they have signed one of the best flankers in the northern hemisphere.

3. Sam Burgess, Bath

If Burgess can adapt quickly to union he could very easily become the difference between 4th and 5th place this season for Bath as they hope to make the play-offs.

2. Gareth Anscombe, Cardiff Blues

Anscombe will be hoping to have a huge year for the Blues in a bid to make the Welsh World Cup squad so could be set for a huge season in Cardiff.

1. Piri Weepu, London Welsh

Weepu may not be the best player on this list, however if he can perform for Welsh then he could be the difference between relegation and Premiership survival.

Who do you think has been the signing of the 2014/15 season?

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