Blackheath have made two major signings to power up their second-row for next season.
Neale Patrick brings six years of Championship experience, having played for Rotherham Titans, Cornish Pirates, Plymouth Albion (at the same time as James Shanahan) and, most recently, London Scottish who he joined in 2015, making a total of twenty-five league appearances and seven in the British & Irish Cup.
Now, the 28-year old former Perthshire High School pupil, who has represented Scotland at U20 level and rises to an imposing 6’8”, makes the short move across south London to Blackheath where he continues his playing career while training to be an accountant.
‘Having worked with James Shanahan before, I thought it was a very exciting time to be joining Blackheath as he comes in as the new head coach.’
‘It’s a club with a huge amount of history and I’m sure we’ll continue to progress as a team next season. I understand the standard of rugby at National One is still very high, having spoken to a number of friends, and it’s a challenge I’m very much looking forward to.’
‘Having the opportunity to go into full-time employment, whilst carrying on playing competitive rugby, is something that I feel has come at the right time for me and I was very fortunate that the Club were able to help me make the transition and assist in this as I realise how hard it can be for ex professionals.’
Having narrowly missed out on a Scotland U18 cap, and after an eight month stint at Northampton Saints academy, Nigerian-born Chukwuma Osazuwa switched to football, having spells with Dunbar, Haddington and Musselburgh Athletic.
However, in 2008, CJ, as he is known, returned to the union code with Heriot’s before travelling south, initially joining Richmond, while at the same time collecting numerous international caps with Nigeria in both the fifteen and seven-man game.
Last season he scored 8 tries in 26 appearances for Chinnor, as the Oxfordshire side finished third in National League Two South, but now CJ, who at 6’5” also gained representative honours at volleyball, is set to return to London with Blackheath.