Harlequins confirm signing of second row star Nick Kennedy
Last Updated: 10/07/13 12:38pm
Nick Kennedy: Returning to England with Harlequins
Harlequins have confirmed the signing of experienced second row Nick Kennedy.
The former London Irish star was released from his contract with European champions Toulon earlier this week so he could return home to England.
Kennedy, who admitted he struggled to settle in southern France, will replace Ollie Kohn - forced to retire from the game because of injury - in the Harlequins squad.
Kennedy told the club's website: "I've had a memorable year in the south of France and winning the Heineken Cup with Toulon will rank among the highlights of my career.
"The opportunity to return to England and join Harlequins has come at the right time for me. I'm looking forward to the challenge and to being part of an exciting squad of talented players. I would like to thank Toulon for releasing me and for their support during my time in France."
Harlequins Director of Rugby, Conor O'Shea said: "We are delighted that Nick has decided to join Harlequins. In doing so he has sacrificed a valuable contract at Toulon to return to England where he feels he has unfinished business.
"His ambition is pretty clear in that he wants to win the Aviva Premiership and force his way back into the England squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
"I've known him since he came to professional rugby and I know that in Nick we have a player and a person who will fit into what this club is all about.
"Not only is he acknowledged by his peers as one of the leading lineout specialists in the country, he is physically strong, mobile and skilful and his game has benefitted greatly from his stint in Toulon.
"The retirement of Olly Kohn came as a surprise and we felt, despite the young talent we have in Charlie Matthews (21), George Merrick (20) and Sam Twomey (21), we needed to replace Olly's experience within the squad given the level of competition we face week in, week out.
"There will be real competition now among our second rows with Nick's signing and the young guys really pushing for selection. Charlie, George (Robson) and Nick may have a headstart on Sam and George but they will push each other and make us better."