#SWrugby shorts 05.01.15

Bristol's Italian centre Tommaso Benvenuti courtesy & copyright John White MediaBristol RFC have signed Italian international back Tommaso Benvenuti, 24, from USA Perpignan on an 18-month contract.

Benvenuti - who can play at centre, wing or full back - joined USAP from Treviso in May 2013.

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SOMERSET RFU Cup dates and updates

Somerset Rugby Football Union crestSomerset begin their build-up for May’s county championship campaign with a warm-up match against Bath Combination XV tomorrow at Walcot RFC (1930).

Somerset start the championship season against Devon at Bridgwater & Albion RFC on May 10 and visit Kent on May 25, when the match will take place at Medway RFC.

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EXETER CHIEFS Cup of cheer for forward-thinking Mumm

Exeter Chiefs England wing Jack Nowell image courtesy & copyright Exeter Rugby Club/Pinnacle Photo AgencyMatch-winning skipper Dean Mumm believes Exeter Chiefs can use their LV= Cup triumph over Northampton as a springboard for success.

The New Zealand-born Australian international lock led from the front helping extend Exeter’s lead by finishing a scintillating second half move with Chiefs’ second try of the day.

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LV= CUP reward for Chiefs hard work says Baxter

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter praised his squad following a thrilling 15-8 LV= Cup final win over Aviva Premiership pacesetters Northampton Saints at Sandy Park.

Exeter's first major silverware in their 143-year history was clinched in front of 10,004 at Sandy Park thanks to tries from Chris Whitehead and cup-winning skipper Dean Mumm, who scored the match-winning touchdown. Devon-born fly half Henry Slade added the extras.

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BRISTOL RUGBY Combination at Thornbury celebration

Thornbury RFC logoBristol Combination make a rare appearance at Thornbury RFC today to bring the curtain down on the South Gloucestershire club’s jubilee 50 celebrations (1330).

In days gone by playing for the Bristol Combination XV was in many cases the highest level of representative rugby local players could strive to attain. It was a genuine honour.

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ENGLAND RUGBY Call-ups for Ford, Nowell and Watson

RFU red roseStuart Lancaster admits he is excited about the inclusion of Bath’s 20-year-old fly half George Ford in the England Senior squad.

Having starred for England’s Under 20 side for the past three years, Ford, Bath team-mate Anthony Watson and Exeter Chiefs' Cornish flyer Jack Nowell have been on Lancaster’s radar for a long time.

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