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Premiership Rugby

Saracens snap up Raiwalui and Codling

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Benazzi's retirement, Hooper's transfer to Leeds and Quinnell's previous move to Worcester have left somewhat of a void in the Sarries' line-out, but coach Wayne Shelford hailed his two new signings as a step in the right direction for the London club, who face Leeds on Wednesday in the Zurich Wildcard.

Speaking of Raiwalui's arival, Shelford said: "Simon is a big guy and top line-out jumper. He also enjoys running with the ball and knows how to use his size.

"Coupled with this, he has shown at Newport and for Fiji that he has good leadership qualities, which will be of use to us here. He will add solidity and power to the pack and will be another experienced player in the lock position. I'm sure that he'll be fantastic for us."

On Codling, he added: "I talked to a few people, and Alex was highly recommended – he's a very good exponent of the line-out and does his homework on the opposition. He's very professional and brings an enormous amount of experience to us."

The 28-year-old Raiwalui has 39 Fiji caps to date, following his debut back in 1997 against the All Blacks, and has played in the Zurich Premiership before for the Sharks.

Born in New Zealand, but a former Australia Schools player, Raiwalui helped Newport lift the 2001 Principality Cup, and has been skipper of the 'Black and Ambers' in recent years.

"Saracens is a club that I have always been interested in and I’m very pleased to be joining up with Wayne Shelford and the squad for next season," said Raiwalui.

"I want to get my head down, work hard and get the respect from the guys. I enjoy being a professional and have a professional work ethic.

"I want to do well, and I want to do what I can to help the club be successful. With Newport I've had three years of top-level European rugby, and it would be great for Saracens to make it back into the Heineken Cup, it's a great environment to play in."

The 29-year-old Codling arrives from London rivals Harlequins, having also spent time with Welsh club Neath, and the now bankrupt Richmond club.

He made his one and only England Test appearance in the win against Argentina in Buenos Aires last year, and said of his move across London: "I'm really looking forward to it. I'll look to bring my experience to the club and share all the things that I've picked up over time.

"I do love the line-out and work hard at it, on our own ball as well as the opposition ball. I do work on the other areas of my game, but my line-out is probably what gets singled out the most.

"I want to be a professional as possible, and am quite picky and like to get things right and pay a lot of attention to detail."

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