Will Goodrick-Clarke and Jesse Liston Go Pro
Loosehead prop Will Goodrick-Clarke and flanker Jesse Liston have confirmed they will be leaving Richmond Rugby. Goodrick-Clarke makes the short, but impressive move to London Irish where Premiership Rugby beckons, whilst Liston returns to full-time Championship rugby with Nottingham.
Will joined Richmond in 2016 when he was just 19 and the club were newly promoted to the Greene King IPA Championship.
In his first season Goodrick-Clarke played just once in the Championship side, with the experienced Timmy Walford, Joe Tarrant and Jeremy Cunnew sitting ahead of the Oxford-Brookes student in the pecking order. However, with five senior men’s side at Richmond, Will did not go short of rugby and was able to hone his skills playing outside the 1st XV.
By the end of his second season he had won 25 first team caps, and by his third, was just one game away from the half century and was named Player of the Season as well as Players’ Player of the season for 2018-19.
Under the tutelage of Richmond scrum coach Adam Jones, and thanks to his own hard work and dedication whilst juggling University studies, Will Goodrick-Clarke, in just 3 seasons, has become a stand out player for Richmond and one of the best props in the league as attested by his inclusion in The Rugby Paper’s Championship Dream Team.
Jesse Liston arrived at the Athletic Ground from local rivals Blackheath, but bought with him hugely beneficial Championship experience from his three seasons at London Welsh, an attribute that was invaluable to the team in his role as Vice-Captain for the 2018-19 season.
The no nonsense flanker impressed the coaching staff immediately, winning Player of the Season in his first year, and leading to 46 caps for the South West London side. His continued professionalism and ambition have rightly earned him another chance at professional rugby.
Speaking of the departures, Director of Rugby Steve Hill said, “We are very proud of how Will has improved and developed over the last couple of seasons. We are excited to see just how far he can go in the professional game and we wish him all the best.
Commenting on Liston, Hill continued, “Jesse has been at the heart of our pack for the last two seasons. All at Richmond congratulate him on his return to full time professional rugby and wish him the best of luck.”
Will Goodrick-Clarke, on announcing his departure said “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Richmond. I am very grateful to all at the club and wish them all the best in National 1 next season. Whilst I will miss the club and my team mates I am excited to be signing for London Irish and looking forward to getting stuck into preseason.”
Jesse Liston, speaking of his time at Richmond, said “I would like to thank everyone at Richmond Rugby for a fantastic two seasons, including the staff who work tirelessly to make every session and game day as easy as possible. I would also like to thank all of the players from all 5 teams for making this club a really enjoyable place to play!
And I’d like to add a special mention to the legends at Areté Performance for the amazing work they do to give players the best chance to perform.”