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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, January 24th 2018

James Lay's short-term loan an important one - Lam

Pat Lam believes the signing of Samoa prop, James Lay on a short-term loan is an ‘important’ one, after the head coach moved quickly to find cover for his injury-hit front-row resources.

The tighthead prop arrives from Bay of Plenty, just days after it was announced that his brother, Jordan, had agreed terms to sign for Bristol Rugby ahead of the 2018/19 season. And the head coach says Lay is the perfect fit.

“We’re still having issues in the front row,” he said. “Gaston’s calf has been playing up for a few weeks now and there’s still uncertainty as to when his return date is.

“Alex Giltrow has had concussion, so this last week we’ve been one injury away from a crisis, in the sense that we had only Sione Faletau and Ollie Dawe. So, I’ve moved quickly to cover that.

James Lay has arrived on a two-month loan deal.
Gaston Cortes is ruled out with a calf injury (JMP UK).

“James Lay is an international prop from New Zealand, who plays for Samoa. He’s got four caps, played in the Autumn internationals and joins us short-term from Bay of Plenty.

“People might think I’m saying the wrong name, but it’s not Jordan Lay, who we’ve signed for next season, it’s his brother, James. He plays on the tighthead side and can cover loosehead.”

“We’re getting a quality player in, and someone that Chris Vui, Jack Lam and Tusi Pisi know really well from the Samoan team.

“He’ll fit in nicely, because similar to his brother Jordan, he’s got an unbelievable attitude and their careers are really on the up. So, for him to come in here and help us through this period was really important, particularly with the uncertainty around Gaston.”