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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Barrett to Move to Super Rugby Rival?

Beauden Barrett’s future has been under the spotlight for a while now, but could it take a surprise turn?

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

All Black out-half Beauden Barrett could make a shock move from the Hurricanes to fellow Super Rugby franchise the Blues according to the NZ Herald.

The 28-year-old has been a long-term target for the Blues, he was even set to join them in 2016 until he re-signed with the Hurricanes, whom he has been with since 2011.

However, the Herald are reporting that he has remained on their radar and they hope to hold talks about a move north for the playmaker.

It is suspected that any deal would most likely be similar to that of Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, both of whom will take sabbaticals in Japan before returning to New Zealand.

Only last month, Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree expressed his desire for Barrett to remain at the club and told Radio Sports D’Arcy that they had already started discussing the future.

“First prize for us is that he stays at the Hurricanes in some capacity. There might be a sabbatical involved or he might decide to go and play overseas. The chats that I’ve had with him have all been pretty positive around playing for New Zealand Rugby and his future in New Zealand Rugby, so I think we can probably wait for the rest,” he said.

It is believed that if the 73-capped All Black does make the switch to the Blues that he may only turn out for them come 2021 due to a break away from New Zealand.

The Herald asked the Blues for a comment on the matter to which chief executive of the franchise Michael Redman gave a simple reply.

“Our policy remains unchanged that we never comment on speculation around player or staff recruitment,” he said.

The other possibility for the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year is a move to Europe with reports claiming that French Top 14 teams are vying for his signature and willing to offer him a massive financial contract.

Barrett is the biggest name on the All Black list yet to declare his future intentions, however, if he does move to the Blues it would be a huge signing for a franchise that hasn’t made the Super Rugby play-offs in eight seasons.

Rugby Transfer Rumours

Nakarawa Future Set to be Sorted

Leone Nakarawa has been on the hunt for a new club since his Racing 92 sacking last week and according to reports he has found his likely destination

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(Photo by REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Fijian second-row Leone Nakarawa is set to make a return to former club Glasgow Warriors according to reports.

The forward was let go by French Top 14 giants Racing 92 last week after he arrived back to the club two weeks’ late from the Rugby World Cup with his country. 

His late return was branded as a “deplorable example” by his old club and was seen as a reason for his somewhat surprise sacking. 

Considering his status among the rugby community, where he is seen by many as the world’s best second-row, his options for a new club were always going to be vast. 

The 2018 European Player of the Year is thought to also be on the radar of some English Premiership clubs, with Sale Sharks having formally being reported as a leading club to sign him, but their director of rugby Steve Diamond ruled out a move over the weekend. 

Other sides from Australia and New Zealand were also thought to be interested in the 31-year-old, but it is believed that his salary would be too much for a move. 

All of which has lead to the very real possibility of a return to the Warriors where he made 69-caps during his stint between 2013 and 2016 before departing for France. 

His arrival would be a huge boost for the Warriors who are in contention for a Champions Cup knock-out place as well as competing at the top of Conference A of the PRO14, having reached the final last season to fall-short to Leinster. Although this signing would certainly put them in a better position.

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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Te’o Confirms Move to New Club

England international Ben Te’o has finally been unveiled at his new club following his departure from Worcester at the end of last season

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

England centre Ben Te’o has finally been confirmed as a new signing for Super Rugby outfit the Sunwolves ahead of the 2020 season.

Te’o, whose contract with English Premiership side Worcester ran out at the end of last season is set to take part in what could be the franchises final season in the Super Rugby competition. 

His three-year stay at the English side saw him become an England international and earned him a place in the 2017 British & Irish Lions squad for their tour of New Zealand

However, despite being a mainstay in Eddie Jones’ England side, he failed to be selected for the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan following an alleged altercation with Mike Brown while at a training camp in Italy

After being omitted from the 31-man squad Te’o made the switch to French Top 14 giants Toulon while some of their key men were away at the Japanese tournament, and as a brief replacement for departed centre Mathieu Bastareaud. 

His short-term contract with Toulon recently ran out, but his future has now been sorted as he prepares for life in Japan as one of 14 non-Japanese players in the Sunwolves squad. A move that also sees him become unavailable for England selection. 

As well as his time with Worcester, Te’o also had a two-year stay at Irish province Leinster, and will bring a vast amount of experience to his new team. 

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Champions Cup

Connacht Star Signs Contract Extension

One of Connacht’s biggest stars has confirmed that he will remain with the province for the foreseeable future

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Connacht ace Kieran Marmion has put an end to a long spell of speculation surrounding his future by signing a new contract at the western province.

The deal will see the scrum-half continue his stint with Connacht until at least 2023, putting a close to the speculation that he was set for a move abroad, with Saracens reportedly interested in the London-born player. 

Connacht head coach Andy Friend is delighted that Marmion has signed on as he believes he is a valuable player to have within the squad. 

“Kieran has been an outstanding player for Connacht and for Ireland,” said coach Andy Friend. He is a diligent professional and, through his hard work, he has progressed through the Connacht Academy and on to play for Ireland. His progress demonstrates the support that is available to players through our academy pathway. Kieran’s commitment to Connacht for a further three seasons demonstrates his ambition to contribute at provincial and international level in the coming years. His signing also ensures that we continue to retain a squad equipped to compete at the highest level of European club rugby,” he said. 

The 27-year-old is the fifth player to sign an extension with the club in the past two weeks as they look to continue to build for the future with captain Jarrad Butler, Tiernan O’Halloran, Sean O’Brien and Tom Farrell all signing new deals too

It also comes as a massive boost to the Irish national side as a move abroad for Marmion would have seen him lose his spot in the team, however, with this decision he can be included in new coach’s Andy Farrell’s thoughts. 

Having been excluded from Ireland’s Rugby World Cup squad it would have been unsurprising to see him chase a new dream elsewhere, but for now Connacht and Ireland fans will get to watch him on their shores during the prime of his career. 

Connacht will hope to use their extension delight to fuel them as they prepare for a tough trip to Toulouse this Saturday in the second round of the Champions Cup

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