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Saracens sign duo for next season

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

Rugby

The duo will join at the end of the season

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SARACENS have already started building for next season with the captures of all-action backrower Billy Vunipola and Harlequins prop James Johnston.

The duo will join at the end of the season, with 20-year-old Vunipola linking up with brother Mako, who is a prop forward at Sarries.

Billy's current club Wasps released a statement expressing disappointment at the news.

"The club has been informed that Billy Vunipola has decided to leave at the end of the season," read the statement. "We are incredibly disappointed that he has chosen to leave."

Quins director of rugby Conor O'Shea revealed finances had been a factor in Johnston's move.

"We are very disappointed to lose a player of James' ability," he said. "Unfortunately, given the constraints of the salary cap, we were unable to meet his financial expectations so he has decided to move on at the end of the current season."

England skipper Chris Robshaw has been named as the Rugby Union Writers' Club personality of the year for 2012.

Robshaw lifted the Pat Marshall Memorial Award after a superb year in which he led Harlequins to their first Aviva Premiership title before captaining England to an emphatic victory over the All Blacks.

The 26-year-old topped the RUWC poll ahead of England coach Stuart Lancaster, Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans and Argentina captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Ulster's highly-rated No.8 Nick Williams is out for two months with medial ligament damage in his left knee.

The New Zealander was forced off during the win over Glasgow on Friday.

Harlequins' Bristol-born lock Olly Kohn says he 'would love' to play for Wales.

Kohn stated that his late grandfather was from Wales, and he would happily play should he be called up.

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