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skysports.com looks at the pick of the transfer deals
It has been a busy few months for clubs as they looked to bolster their squads ahead of an exciting 2010/11 campaign.
Unlike previous years, the trend has been bucked as a number of players have returned from 'sabbaticals' in France - despite the doom and gloom warnings over the salary cap.
There have also been a few class-looking arrivals from overseas, with a couple of shock moves between English clubs thrown into the mix.
And on the eve of the new Premiership campaign, skysports.com looks back at 10 of the top transfer deals of the off-season...
Remember to let us know your views via the feedback form below...
Lewis Moody (Bath)
One of the shock moves of the summer, but Leicester's loss is Bath's gain. The England captain is one of the most combative players in the Premiership and he could well provide the driving force for Bath's title challenge.
Jason Shoemark (Exeter)
Remains one of the best centres not to have been capped by the All Blacks, Shoemark will add some much-needed physicality to the Exeter backline. He has a wealth of experience playing in the Super 14 and expect him to make a big impact in the Premiership.
Jim Hamilton (Gloucester)
The Cherry and Whites swooped to snap up Hamilton from under the noses of Stade Francais - and what a coup it could be for Bryan Redpath. Alongside Dave Attwood, Hamilton could form a formidable second row partnership.
Steve Thompson (Leeds)
The World Cup-winning hooker returns from France after being sold on the ambitious plans at Headingley. He will play a key role in helping the club achieve its aim of breaking into the top six.
Lee Robinson (Leicester)
The powerful winger returns to the Premiership from Bristol and is determined to take his chance. He might have plenty of competition for a starting spot, but he has already proved to be a big hit in pre-season.
Riki Flutey (Wasps)
His time in France may have been limited to just five appearances but that did not stop a host of clubs queuing up to sign the Lions centre. With Danny Cipriani heading off to the Rebels, Flutey's guile and craft could be crucial to Wasps' hopes.
Ally Hogg (Newcastle)
The classy Scotland international has been lured south of the border by fellow countryman Alan Tait. His marauding runs and hard hits should make him a fans' favourite at Kingston Park.
Calum Clark (Northampton)
Saints boss Jim Mallinder has specifically gone out to recruit some of England's rising stars and in Clark he has captured a gem. Highly impressive as Leeds avoided the drop last season, Clark has shown maturity beyond his tender years.
Mikaele Pesamino (Sale)
The Samoan could be the real wildcard signing of the summer. A huge hit on the IRB Sevens circuit - and named the Player of the Year for 2009/10 - Sale fans will be hoping he can make the same impression on the full code.
Matt Stevens (Saracens)
He is not available until completing his drugs ban in January, but Saracens beat off a host of competition to sign the England international prop. Before his ban, he was one of the top props in the business - and with a point to prove, expect Stevens to hit the ground running.
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Nick F says...
I have to disagree Gary Hunt, I feel that it is more disgraceful that Dwain Chambers is allowed to compete for his country again after taking performance enhancing drugs, whereas Matt Stevens admitted to using cocaine and has done his punishment and from an Englishamn''s point of view, i hope to see hime wearing the Red Rose once again. On another note, a star signing that has been missed is Andy Powell going to Wasps. I am really lookng forward to seeing a back row of Rees, Powell and Ward-Smith smashing it up in the Premiership this season!
Posted 13:13 1st September 2010
Gary Hunt says...
i am like many not happy to see matt stevens return to the game especialy with a fuss from the press like this.surely we should made him play abroad it shows a terrible example to our children about drug abuse and seemingly getting let of lightly . i only hope he never plays for england again but i am sure he will as we lack a good front row at the moment i am sure his olace is there for him
Posted 18:30 31st August 2010
Sally Wilkes says...
The one player you''ve missed from this is Tom Wood moving to Northampton from Worcester, having seen him in the Saints last "friendly" on Friday night, he looks like the signing of the season to me
Posted 16:09 31st August 2010
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