London Welsh’s bid to capture next season’s Championship title has received a huge boost with Matt Corker signing a new deal with the club.
Next season will be the London Welsh club captain’s ninth at the club, during which time the second row has made 223 appearances for the Exiles in all matches, scoring five tries.
Corker becomes the fourteenth London Welsh player to re-sign to the club, with seven players already under contract for next season. The club has also announced nine new signings for the 2015/16 Championship campaign.
Coker made his debut for the Exiles in September 2007 in National League 1 during a season long loan from Wasps, and made the move permanent the following season.
He reached two Championship semi-finals with the Exiles before being part of the club’s successful 2011/12 campaign. He was made club captain for the 2013/14 Championship season but a heart condition would limit him to just 14 appearances, as he sat out five months of last year’s promotion winning campaign after being diagnosed with Atrial fibrillation – a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.
Corker returned, however, to play a significant role in the Championship play-offs and was man of the match in the Exiles’ 1st leg final win over Bristol at the Kassam Stadium.
London Welsh Director of Rugby Steve Lewis said: "Matt is hugely respected by players, coaches and supporters alike at London Welsh and his decision to commit to the club once again is a massive statement and hugely significant.
"Matt is a model professional, both on and off the pitch, and as a two-time Championship winner his experience of that league will be invaluable. His expertise at the lineout is well documented and in addition to his playing responsibilities next season, Matt will also be line-out coach within our coaching structure."
Matt Corker said: "I am really pleased to have re-signed with London Welsh and extend my time with the club that I love so much, and I am thankful to Steve Lewis and the Board for giving me the opportunity to do so.
"I’m also really grateful to head coach Rowland Philips for allowing me to further my development as lineout coach next year, a role that I am really excited to be fulfilling. After such a tough season I’m really looking forward to drawing on the lessons we’ve learnt to ensure our upcoming Championship campaign is a successful one."
Re-signed for 2015/16:
Seb Jewell, Alan Awcock, Nic Reynolds, James Lewis, Will Robinson, Nathan Trevett, Koree Britton, Nathan Morris, Ben Cooper, Olly Barkley, Rob Lewis, Ben Pienaar, Chris Elder and Matt Corker.
Already under contract for 2015/16:
Richard Thorpe, Ben West, Ricky Reeves, Jack Gilding, Eddie Aholelei, Josh McNally and Jesse Liston.
Josh Drauniniu (Worcester Warriors), Martyn Thomas (Wasps), Guy Armitage (London Irish), Kieran Murphy (Brive), Ryan Hodson (Jersey), Gus Jones (Wasps), Will Skuse (Bath Rugby), Joe Carlisle (Treviso) and Josh Davies (Plymouth Albion).
Tickets: London Welsh vs Saracens
Tickets for London Welsh’s Aviva Premiership fixture with Saracens on Saturday 16th May (kick-off 3:30pm) at the Kassam Stadium are available here or by calling the London Welsh Ticket Office on 01865 717661.