London Welsh announce trio of exciting new signings for 2011/12. London Welsh are delighted to announce three exciting new signings for the 2011/12 season in Seb Jewell, Ed Jackson and Gerard Mullen.
Fly half/centre Seb Jewell joins Welsh from Wasps and Esher, with whom he held dual registration.
The 23-year-old first came to prominence at Harlequins, joining the club’s Academy in 2006 and making his senior debut against Samoa the following year.
He went on to make 13 first team appearances during his four years at Quins, but also gained valuable first team experience at Esher, and his 23 tries in 25 starts helped the club win promotion to the Championship in 2009/10.
His performances that season earned him a place in the Rugby Times National One League Dream Team, and also saw him collect the club’s player of the year award.
Seb moved to Wasps in the summer of 2010 on a dual registration with Esher and made his Wasps debut as a substitute away to Exeter Chiefs in November 2010.
His full debut came at the Twickenham Stoop against former club Harlequins in the Amlin Challenge Cup in April – an occasion he marked with a try.
Seb made a further 16 appearances for Esher in 2010/11, scoring 25 points, and helped to secure Championship rugby at Molesey Road for another season.
He represented England U20s in the 2007 Six Nations and was man of the match against Italy in a 30-10 win at the The Rec, in which he was a try scorer.
“Welsh are a top four Championship side and it’ll be nice to play front foot rugby at a club that’s in contention and was so close to being in the Championship final – that’s the incentive,” said Seb.
“Personally, I want to try and cement a starting position, but there are some great centres at the club already, and as a team we’ll be trying to push that one step further next season and get to the final.
“Wasps was a great experience and I’ve taken a lot from it. I got some game time at the end and to make my debut in the European Challenge Cup was superb and I don’t regret it at all.”
Powerful back row forward Ed Jackson arrives at Old Deer Park from Championship side Doncaster Knights.
The 22-year-old made 24 appearances for the Knights last season, scoring three tries, to help the club to a sixth place finish and reach the promotion play-offs.
Ed came through the youth ranks at Bath before graduating to the club’s Academy, where he gained A League experience with Bath United.
He enjoyed loan spells at Cleve and Newbury, making 12 appearances and scoring three tries for the Blues during the 2009/10 National League One campaign.
Ed signed a full-time contract with Bath in 2007 and made his first team debut against Leicester Tigers in the EDF Energy Cup in October 2008. A talented sevens player, he captained Bath at the Middlesex Sevens in 2009.
Ed’s leadership skills were also recognised at international level. He captained England U18s and was part of the side that won the Four Nations in 2006, and also led his country at U16 level.
“London Welsh is a step in the right direction for me,” said Ed. “It’s a club fighting at the top of the Championship and I want to keep developing as a player using the good standard of players they’ve already got at the club.
“Welsh have to aspire to winning the Championship next season. They’ve made the semi-finals the last two seasons, so we’ve got to go into the new season looking to win it, and hopefully I can help in doing that.”
Gerard Mullen joins Welsh from Championship rivals Esher and comes with no shortage of rugby pedigree.
The grandson of the late Irish and Lions legend Karl Mullen, who captained Ireland to their first-ever Grand Slam in 1948, Gerard developed a reputation at Esher as something of a flyer.
The 20-year-old full back/wing from Dublin made 13 appearances for Esher in his debut Championship season, scoring six tries, including a 50-metre effort to stun the Cornish Pirates. Last season he also represented Harlequins in the A League.
Gerard came through the Leinster Academy, playing U19s for the Province, before coming to the attention of Leicester Tigers and figuring in their Development Squad for 2009/10 – where he made several A League appearances.
He was also named in the Tigers’ squad for the Premiership Sevens Series in July 2010.
“I had a great season at Esher and was lucky to get the opportunity to showcase what I can do,” said Gerard.
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“It took me a few games to adjust [to the Championship] but once I started playing my own game I thought I coped pretty well. But I feel I’ve more to give and hopefully I can show that next year at London Welsh.
“I want to progress my own game and I feel I can do that there, and the club are very ambitious and hopefully we can go one step further and get to the Championship final.”