West Country pair head to Vallis Way
Toby Howley-Berridge and Rhys Lawrence have become the latest two players to join the Ealing Trailfinders squad for their return to the Greene King IPA Championship.
Centre Howley-Berridge arrives from Plymouth Albion, while hooker Rhys Lawrence joins director of coaching Ben Ward’s side from Bristol.
Cambridge-born Howley-Berridge started with his hometown club and later moved to Doncaster before he joined Albion in 2012. In his three seasons with Albion he ran in nine tries in 77 appearances.
“I would like to thank Ben for giving me the opportunity to be an Ealing Trailfinders player next season, ” Howley-Berridge said. “For me, it was the obvious place to be involved for the coming season. Ealing Trailfinders, as I do, have big ambitions and I feel privileged to be part of the next chapter in their Championship journey.
“It was the mix of exceptional facilities, professional environment and winning culture that turned out to be just too tempting to say 'no'. I shall endeavour to be the best I can be and hope to be a credit to Ealing Trailfinders on and off the field.”
Swansea-native Lawrence made his name in west Wales, where he played for the Scarlets and Llanelli before he joined Bristol.
Since moving across the Severn Bridge he has scored 10 tries in 83 appearances for the West Country outfit and started both matches between Ealing Trailfinders and Bristol in 2013-14.
“I joined Ealing Trailfinders because of their ambitious vision and willingness to play an open and expansive game with a strong set piece, ” Lawrence said. “Their facilities are fantastic and will be a great tool for me to keep improving as a rugby player.”
Ealing Trailfinders will be appearing in the Championship for the second time in their history, having previously played in it during the 2013-14 season.
Ben Ward’s side won the National 1 title with 136 points, nine ahead of their nearest rivals Rosslyn Park.
“Toby has been a consistent performer over the last couple of seasons, ” Ward said. “He can play 12 or 13 and is defensively very strong. He is someone I have followed for some time and I'm delighted to be able to bring him to Vallis Way.
“He is at the right age to really kick on and I believe we can provide the environment for him to do so.
“Rhys is a top hooker. He is extremely mobile around the park and gives us a great ball carrying option. His set piece is very strong and he will add to an already strong looking front row for next year. I am excited to see what Rhys can achieve in an Ealing Trailfinders shirt next season.”