Ealing Trailfinders have announced the signing of Michael van Vuuren from Northampton Saints in a week of busy transfer activity at the club.

Trailfinders finished second in the Coronavirus-curtailed Championship this year but are hoping to go one better next season, with former South Africa Under-20s hooker Van Vuuren the latest boost.

Van Vuuren is one of 12 players to sign on the dotted line in the last week, with Ealing also announcing the addition of prop Lewis Thiede and full-back Luke Daniels from Bristol Bears, lock Barney Maddison from London Irish and prop James Gibbons from Coventry. 

“I am really excited to be joining up with Ealing Trailfinders,” said Van Vuuren, who brings experience from his days at Stade Francais, Leicester Tigers, Bath and Northampton. “They are a club with tremendous talent and exceptional coaches which I firmly believe will help in my development as a player. 

“The club is determined to reach higher levels and I’m looking forward to being a part of the journey and contributing to future success of the club.”

Director of rugby Ben Ward is delighted to have secured the hooker’s signature: “Michael is a player that we have been looking at for a long time and we can’t wait to see him in the green and white. 

“He is a powerful ball carrier with a very strong set-piece, and we believe hooker is an area of huge depth for us moving forward.”

Prop Will Davis is to re-join Trailfinders from Northampton on a permanent basis having spent time on-loan in London after leaving the club for Saints in the summer of 2018.

Highly-rated lock Simon Linsell has also joined for the 2020/21 season, signing from Gloucester, after spending a year captaining Hartpury in a standout Championship season.

Linsell has made three appearances for the Gloucester first team, and came through the academy with the likes of Lewis Ludlow and Ollie Thorley.

“I can’t wait to join up with Ealing Trailfinders,” said Linsell. “I like how ambitious the club is and I’m really excited to see what we can achieve.”

Former Queensland Reds back rower Adam Korczyk has signed a new contract at the club for the 2020/21 season, meanwhile Ben West, Harry Casson, Josh Pieterse and Elliot Millar Mills have also extended.