Double boost for London Welsh
Tue, 29 Jan 2013 12:23
London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills and front row forward Arthur Joly have both agreed new two-year deals with the club.
Mills joined the Exiles in 2007 from the Scarlets and last season led Welsh to Championship success and promotion to the Premiership for the first time in the club's history.
The utility forward has made 162 appearances for Welsh, scoring 12 tries, and was man of the match in the first leg of the Exiles' Championship final victory over the Cornish Pirates at Mennaye Field.
Mills, who took over the London Welsh captaincy at the start of the 2010/11 season, came through the academy at Bath and has also played for Llanelli RFC and Llandovery. He represented Wales at Under-16, U18, U19 and U21 level.
Although he joined the club in the summer of 2007, Mills enjoyed an unbeaten loan spell with the Exiles in January of that year, in which he made four appearances and scored one try, before making the switch to Old Deer Park permanent.
"I want to stay at London Welsh for as long as I can" said Mills. "I've been here for a long time already and I look forward to more success in the future.
"To see the club where it is now, its vision for the future and the calibre of players we have is fantastic. We now want to really establish ourselves in the Premiership - that’s the next challenge," he said.
Prop forward Joly has made 12 appearances for London Welsh since joining the club from Bourgoin.
Joly began his career with Massey before spending four seasons at Stade Francais, where he gained Top 14 and Challenge Cup experience. He joined Bourgoin in 2011.
He represented France at Under U20 level in the Six Nations and was selected for the 2007 IRB Under-19 World Championships in 2007 in Belfast.
"I'm very happy to stay here for two more years. I'm very happy to continue to work with this team and with Lyn Jones," said Joly.
London Welsh head coach Jones said: "Jonathan has stepped up to Premiership level and has performed to a consistent standard. He has led by example as captain and has shown that when he's on the field he's a true Premiership player.
"Arthur has proved himself to be a very popular member of the squad, impressing all when he's played. He's still a young French prop who has a huge amount to learn about the game, but he's got the basics in place and he's going to prove a very good signing for London Welsh."
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