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Blackmore, Smith, Watkins & Ford sign up for more.

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

We're pleased to announce Jack Blackmore, Jack Smith, Arun Watkins & Jago Ford have all agreed contracts with the Lions for the 2023 season, staying with the pride following a successful 2022 campaign.

Jack Blackmore joined the Lions way back at the start of the 2022 pre-season, and has been an pivotal member of the squad ever since. Currently plying his XVs rugby at Barnes RFC, Jack is a versatile player able to play either in the pack or the backline. Jack has proved to have a keen eye for the tryline keeping a 100% record of scoring in his last 4 tournaments.

Jack Smith, is an original member of the "Lion Cub 7s" - the former youth team predecessor of the Lions. He picked up 8 tries this campaign, and is known for wearing his heart on his sleeve. Jack is currently recovering from a long term ACL injury which ultimately kept him out of the 2022 GWR7s tour, however focus on his fitness will ensure he returns fighting fit as soon as possible.

Arun Watkins, is the longest serving player for Lions with 16 caps and 45 tries. Making his international debut in April 2022 at the Africa 7s followed by qualification for the Commonwealth Games, he is normally deployed within the pack, however is also played on the wing. He was voted the 2022 British Airways Grenada Rugby World 7s player of the tournament by the tournament's organisers which also saw the Lions crowned champions of the men's competition.

Jago Ford, like Jack joined the Lions back in March having previously played for the Compeed Marlborough Nomads. Jago is a very highly valued member for the squad and an ultimate team player. He was part of the squad in the last two silverware winning tournaments - RugbyTown & GRW7s. In both tournaments he showed his 100 percent commitment i, pulling out game winning performances against Santa Rosa at RugbyTown and Atlantis at GRW7s.

Director of Rugby Mark Francis had this to say on the signings "What do our two Jacks, Jago and Arun have in common? They are under 22, talented and they are getter better every tournament we play!"

All players are available to sponsor ahead of the 2023 season.

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