Trio swap Nottingham for Ealing Trailfinders
Joe Munro, George Porter and Michael Holford are the latest three players to sign for Ealing Trailfinders ahead of their return to the Greene King IPA Championship.
Centre Munro and props Porter and Holford all featured in the Championship for Nottingham last season and will be important figures as director of coaching Ben Ward aims to establish his side in the second tier of English professional rugby.
Munro joined Nottingham in 2011 and over the following four seasons he became a fixture in the East Midlanders’ match-day squad. His strong ball carrying was an important features of Nottingham’s style and in total he played 72 times and scored four tries.
“Ealing Trailfinders have shown great ambition and a clear vision of what they want to achieve in the Championship over the next few years and that's something that attracted me to the club, ” he said.
“There’s a real buzz about next year and I'm really looking forward to being a part of it. I've had four great seasons at Nottingham and am really appreciative of everything they've done for my progression as a player, but am now looking forward to the next challenge ahead with Ealing Trailfinders.”
Porter played for Nottingham on-loan from Worcester Warriors and made 15 appearances in the Championship and British and Irish Cup in which he scored one try.
The 25-year-old Porter hails from Gloucester and after appearing for Birmingham and Solihull and Lydney, he made his breakthrough for Plymouth Albion when he played every match in the 2010-11 season. He spent two seasons in Devon before he moved to Sixways.
“I'm excited about joining Ealing Trailfinders, ” Porter said. “I was very impressed with the facilities and the coaching team. I'm looking forward to being part of the club's ambitions and helping them continue their journey up the leagues.”
Porter’s fellow prop Holford has an impressive CV that includes England caps at U16, U19 and U20 level, as well as spells playing for Wasps, Leicester Tigers and London Welsh.
The 32-year-old Holford played 107 times for Nottingham and scored nine tries.
“The club is showing great ambition in terms of recruitment and the facilities look top class, ” Holford said. “It is a club that is heading for success and I jumped at the chance to be part of it.
“I think that I can use my experience on and off the field to help develop some of the younger players as well as helping the team to as higher place finish as possible.”
Ealing Trailfinders are returning to the Championship for the second time in their history, after they won the National 1 title with 136 points, nine ahead of their nearest rivals Rosslyn Park.
“Joe is a big physical centre with a good skill set, ” director of coaching Ward said. “He will fit in really well with the group of players we have and will give us some great go forward ball.
“We know from our time previously in the Championship that you need a strong pack to be able to play the type of rugby we like to play. George will add to what we already have and he will fit in well with our style of rugby around the park especially with his ball carrying.
“We lacked experience last time we were promoted and Michael has that in abundance. He has been part of a very strong Nottingham pack for a number of years and will also be able to help our younger front row players develop and to reach their potential.”