Canon Eagles have remained a permanent fixture in the Top League since their promotion from the regional divisions in 2012, with a sixth-place finish last season ensuring a top-half finish for the third successive campaign.
The combination of Willie le Roux and JC Roos in the backs worked wonders for Canon last season, with Roos’ 90% kick success-rate the best in the competition. Canon scored just three tries that consisted of seven or more phases last season, speaking volumes of the playing style that evolved around the South African duo.
However, with Le Roux’s departure to London Wasps combined with the signing of Japan and Sunwolves stand-off Yu Tamura, it could all be all change in the back line.
That’s not the only thing changing at Canon with new head coach Grant Bashford, who was appointed in March this year, leaving the club last week just two weeks before the curtain raiser citing personal reasons.
Sunwolves captain Ed Quirk will be a welcome addition for Eagles and one that fills the void left by Adam Thomson, who departed the club at the end of last season. No player won more line-out steals than South African Thomson in the Top League last season (15).