Ben Ward believes new signings Shaun Malton and Guy Thompson will bring valuable experience to his Ealing Trailfinders squad.

The Championship club announced the arrival of both players on Wednesday, with Malton joining from Premiership club Bristol Bears and Thompson from fellow top-flight outfit Leicester Tigers.

Back-rower Thompson scored seven tries in 33 games in a successful spell at Welford Road, while hooker Malton was a Premiership winner with Rob Baxter’s Exeter Chiefs side back in 2017.

Trailfinders sat second in the Championship when the competition was terminated and head coach Ward reckons both players will help bolster his ranks in West London.

Ealing Times: Shaun Malton joins the West London outfit after a spell in the Premiership with Bristol BearsShaun Malton joins the West London outfit after a spell in the Premiership with Bristol Bears

“Guy’s rugby CV speaks for itself and this is a huge signing for us,” he said.

“He has been at the top level for nearly a decade and I’m sure he will bring plenty to us, both on and off the pitch with his leadership.

“We have lost a few experienced players and he will bring that to the squad. The back-row has been a very strong area for the last few seasons and we are sure it will continue to improve with Guy in the Green and White shirt.”

Speaking after Malton’s signing, he added: “Shaun is a great character who will bring a huge amount to our squad.

"To bring in a player of his calibre is massively exciting for us and with his experience we see this is as a significant move to continue growing as a club.

“In losing guys such as Sam Dickinson and Jordy Reid, it is important that we bring in some experienced players.” 

South African Malton made 14 appearances in Chiefs’ run to their memorable Premiership triumph at Twickenham, having also enjoyed stints at London Irish, Nottingham and Super Rugby side Sharks.

The 30-year-old has also pulled on the famous Springbok journey at Under-20 level, as he embarked on an impressive rugby career that will now see him battle with Trailfinders’ Alun Walker for the No. 2 jersey.

Thompson won the Newcomer of the Season award following his first campaign at Tigers, after beginning his career at Kingsholm for Gloucester Academy and also having spells at Richmond and Jersey Reds.

The 33-year-old then made his mark for Wasps with 100 appearances in five seasons, developing a reputation as a formidable ball-carrier who will now add firepower to Trailfinders’ back-row prowess.

Both players reckon it was the lofty ambitions of Ward and the club that prompted their decision to move to West London.

Thompson said: “After speaking to Ben I was hugely impressed with the ambition of Ealing Trailfinders - it’s an exciting time to be part of the club and I am hoping to make a big contribution to the journey ahead. 

"Having watched them play, I'm excited to be playing some expansive rugby.”

Malton added: “I met Ben at the ground and it was great to hear what he had to say, about where they want to be as a club in the next couple of years. 

“I’m really excited to be a part of it.”