NORTHWICH RUFC have announced the signings of two South African players.

Jordan Clarke, 21, and Rory Leijdekkers, 22, have joined Northwich as they continue their debut season in the North Premier.

The two new signings had an immediate effect as their debuts coincided with Northwich finally picking up their first league points of the season at the 19th time of asking with a 13-13 home draw with Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday.

Clarke – who primarily plays as a prop – has played for the South African Rugby Schools under 18s Team and was also a part of the South African Lions Squad at under 19s level.

Leijdekkers can feature at either prop or hooker and played for the Leopards at the under 19s Currie Cup a few years ago.

They said they were “looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Northwich director of rugby Yan Cartman confirmed that these two new signings would not be the last that the club made in the imminent future.

He said: “We will see many new names in the coming months, as five new players have offered commitment to play at Northwich next season.

“It’s good to get fresh faces in to boost our squad, and until we are where we need to be, we will not stop trying to improve each and every player.”

Cartman also spoke about the positive influence of young talent in the squad – something which Clarke and Leijdekkers will add to – blending in well with the more experienced heads.

“With the progress some of our young home bred talent has made this season, here's hoping we can all watch these lads develop into the next great Northwich side.”

Saturday's match did not start off well as after just four minutes, the visitors scored a converted try and it looked like it would be the same old story for Northwich.

But they fought their way back into the contest and were rewarded when Harry Naylor slotted home a penalty on 17 minutes.

Lonsdale restored their seven-point cushion with a penalty of their own just two minutes later, but Blacks responded swiftly with a try from Richard Dale, who exploited a gap in the defence to score close to the posts.

Naylor converted the penalty to tie the game up.

On 25 minutes, the visitors put themselves back ahead with a penalty and it remained 13-10 at half time with both defences holding firm.

Ten minutes into the second half, Naylor successfully kicked his third penalty of the game to restore parity.

That would turn out to be the last of the scoring action, as both sides frustrated each other and were guilty of missing kicks that could have given them the upper hand.

Whilst Northwich will be disappointed that they couldn’t get their first win of the season, they will take many positives into their next encounter – an away game against 10th-place Rossendale on Saturday.