10 players who returned to former clubs, including Andy Goode and James Haskell, | Ruck

10 players who returned to former clubs, including Andy Goode and James Haskell,

After George Ford confirmed he will be rejoining Leicester Tigers, we take a look at 10 other players who went back to their former clubs with varying degrees of success…
1. James Haskell (Wasps) 

The England forward kicked off his career with Wasps, spending seven years there between 2002 and 2009 before joining Stade Francais and helping them reach the final of the European Cup.

Released by the French club, Haskell then enjoyed spells in Japan with the Ricoh Black Rams and then New Zealand’s Highlanders before moving back to Wasps in 2013.

He’s since become an integral player in Dai Youngs and Eddie Jones plans and was named as the ‘man of the series’ during England’s 3-0 series victory over Australia in June 2016.

2. Andy Goode (Leicester Tigers)

Goode joined Leicester Tigers as a youngster, despite his youth he played a substantial part in Tigers record four successive Premiership titles and also won two Heineken Cup (now Champions Cup) winners medals in the 2001 and 2002 triumphs.

He moved to Saracens for the 2002/04 season but moved back to his old club Leicester for the following season.

In his second stint, Goode was nominated for Player of the Season 2004-5 and the PRA Players’ Player of the Year. He also ended the season voted player of the year by the Leicester Tigers members and players and in March 2008.

Goode then became the all-time leading points scorer in the English Premiership, overtaking Newcastle legend Jonny Wilkinson before joining French club Brive ahead of the 2008/09 season.

3. Will Greenwood (Harlequins)

As rugby had yet to turn professional, he moved to London and worked as a trader at a bank before joining Harlequins.

He eventually left Harlequins and moved to Leicester Tigers in 1996 because the presence of England centre Will Carling meant he could not get first team rugby.

In 2000 he moved back to ‘Quins after succumbing to poor form, not helped by the arrival of Australian Pat Howard that prevented him from getting first team rugby.

His match-winning try to defeat Brive, in the European Shield quarter-final on 27 January 2001, was voted the club’s 2000/01 ‘Try of the Year’.

Greenwood decided to extend his contract with the Harlequins when they were relegated to the National League One. He retired at the end of the 2005/06 season after helping them regain promotion.

4. Johnny Sexton (Leinster) 

The 27-year-old had been the key to Leinster’s emergence as the leading force in Europe but confirmed he was leaving to join Racing Metro in 2013.

In 2009, Sexton finally announced himself in the Leinster first team, replacing the injured Argentine fly-half Felipe Contepomi as an early substitute in the Heineken Cup semi-final to help Leinster beat rivals Munster a convincing 25–6.

Four years and three Heineken Cups later, Sexton was rated as the finest fly-half in the world, signing a bumper two-year deal with Racing in 2013, which made him one of the highest-paid players in the world.

Sexton rejoined Leinster for the 2015-16 season until at least November 2019, and has quickly reestablished himself as their general in the backs.

5. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)

The Wales centre made his debut with Scarlets in 2006, but it took him until his sixth appearance (more than a year later) to score his first try

Seven years later – shortly after making his first appearance for the British and Irish Lions in the 2013 tour of Australia – the fan favourite agreed a lucrative move to Top 14 Club Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14.

But Davies was back at Scarlets in 2015 after signing a national dual contract with the Welsh Rugby Union.

He’s now a cornerstone of both Scarlets and Wales backlines one again.

6. Tommy Bowe (Ireland)

Bowe received a call-up to the Ulster squad at the end of the 2003–04 season, scoring on his debut against Connacht and soon made his name as a regular, scoring 19 tries in his first stint at the club.

He then joined the Ospreys in 2008 and made 77 appearances, scoring 36 tries.

But a combination of the Ospreys’ financial constraints and Bowe’s international commitments meant the former Celtic champions had to let the wing go with the speedster rejoining Ulster.

The Ireland international and Lion scored 2 tries on his return for Ulster against Cardiff Blues and was instrumental in the province’s league season, helping them to the Pro12 Final.

7. Danny Cipriani (Wasps) 

After impressing for Wasps’ Academy while still at Whitgift School, Cipriani swiftly graduated to the senior squad and made his debut as a 17-year-old against Bristol in the 2004 Powergen Cup.

The fly-half went on to make 95 appearances for Wasps, before moving to Australia to spend two seasons with the Melbourne Rebels (2011-12), returning to England in 2012 to join Sale Sharks.

He then rejoined Wasps ahead of the 2016/17 Premiership season, sharing kicking duties with experienced Kiwi Jimmy Gopperth.

8. James Hook (Ospreys)

The Gloucester fly-half, who’s renowned for his great tactical awareness, and reliable goal kicking, will rejoin Ospreys at the end of the season six years after he left the Welsh club.

Hook began his career with the Welsh region before crossing the Channel to join Perpignan in the Top 14 in 2011.

The Wales international made 68 appearances for the French club before activating a get-out clause when they were relegated.

He joined Gloucester in 2014 before agreeing to return to Ospreys.

9. Stephen Jones (Scarlets)

The fly-half moved to Clermont Auvergne in 2004 after eight years and over 200 appearances with Scarlets.

The Wales and British & Irish Lions international enjoyed two successful seasons with the French club, winning fly-half of the year in his second season, before heading back to Scarlets in 2006.

Six years later Jones left Scarlets for a second time to join Wasps but in 2015 returned to the region as a backs coach.

10. David Wilson (Newcastle) 

The tighthead from South Shields made his debut for Newcastle Falcons aged 18 in 2003.

After struggling to displace teammate Carl Hayman, Wilson joined Bath for the 2009–10 season.

Having made over 100 appearances for the Black, Blue and Whites, Wilson re-signed with Newcastle Falcons in September 2016.

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