London Welsh are pleased to announce two new signings to augment the club’s push for a Greene King IPA Championship play-off place - USA Eagles fly half Toby L’Estrange and South African hooker Matthew Dobson.
L’Estrange, 25, can also play centre or full back and has been capped 11 times by the USA Eagles – all at number ten. He marked his international debut in November 2012 with a try in a 40-26 win over Russia at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Wales.
Born in Berkeley, California, L’Estrange grew up in Australia, where he attended Marist College Canberra and represented the Brumbies youth development teams.
Offered a rugby scholarship to the highly respected Sydney University on their Elite Athlete Scholarship Program, he quickly established himself in the Club’s First Grade team and won back-to-back Shute Shields in 2009 and 2010.
His talents brought him to the attention of American scouts and in 2012 he accepted the opportunity to move back to the country of his birth to play for New York Athletic Club. He subsequently broke into the USA Eagles team.
Dobson, 27, announced himself on the South African rugby scene with some very impressive Varsity Cup campaigns for University of Stellenbosch (Maties).
Powerful, reliable and dynamic around the park, Dobson regularly took home the Man of the Match awards during both the 2009 and 2010 Varsity Cup seasons.
Born and schooled in Pietermaritzburg, he moved to Maties to study and continue to develop his rugby development. In 2011, he joined Griqualand West ahead of the Vodacom Cup season and he scored a try on his debut against Boland.
“We’re always in the market looking for good players to progress our challenge for a top four finish and Toby comes very highly recommended by former Cardiff Blues backs coach, now backs coach with USA Eagles, Billy Millard,” said London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell.
“Toby fits into what London Welsh is about - he’s very hard working and very skilful.
“We’re also very conscious of Gordon Ross coming a little bit towards the end of his playing career and in Will Robinson and Toby L’Estrange we’ve got two brilliant prospects to help us get into that top four.
“The Championship is all about physicality and the set-piece and Matthew Dobson brings that South African mind-set when it comes to the set-piece. We all know how strong South Africans are at scrummaging and Matthew has that skill in abundance.”
Interested in sponsoring Toby or Matthew? Both players are available for sponsorship for just £150 + vat each. To sponsor, or for more information, contact London Welsh RFC Business Development Manager Chris Harris on:
Tel: 0208 940 2368