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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Clermont Eying Japanese Ace

Top 14 side Clermont are looking into the possibility of signing one of Japan’s Rugby World Cup stars come the end of the season according to reports

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

French Top 14 giants Clermont are lining up a move for Japan star winger Kotaro Matsushima at the end of the current season.

The flying winger gained a huge amount of admirers during last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, going on to finish joint-second in the try-scoring charts following a string of impressive performances for the host nation. 

However, despite all the hype surrounding the 26-year-old he remained with Japanese Top League side Suntory Sungoliath. 

Reports in France are claiming that both Nick Abendanon and Remi Grosso are set to leave Clermont once the season ends and that they are seeking replacements for them already. 

One report by rugbyrama.fr states that the club were originally interested in Racing 92’s Brice Bulin but that they have opted for Matsushima instead. 

It would be a huge opportunity for the player if the move goes through and would be a massive addition to Clermont’s already star-studded side.

Champions Cup

Munster Complete Trio of Signings

Munster have confirmed the arrival of three new players for the 2020/21 season, in what is a major boost for the Irish province

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster have announced the signing of three players in the form of Matt Gallagher, Damien de Allende and RG Snyman.

The trio have all signed two-year deals with the southern Irish province keeping them at the club until June 2022 at least. 

De Allende and Snyman were both reported to be heading to Ireland in recent months and now the recent Rugby World Cup winning Springbok duo have been announced by the club. 

Both players starred in that World Cup win, playing throughout the tournament, and both are currently playing in the Japanese Top League. 

Meanwhile Gallagher joins from Saracens following their recent relegation from the English Premiership after their breaches of the salary cap relegations. He joined the club at 14 and after nine years will add some fresh blood to the Munster ranks. 

Speaking on the signings Munster head coach Johann van Graan is delighted to have bolstered the options in the squad as they look to improve next season after already being knocked-out of the Champions Cup this season. 

“From a business point of view, I’m really pleased that Munster has secured the calibre of these players. In terms of Damian and RG, it’s testament to the worldwide standing of this club that two World Cup-winning Springboks will arrive here next summer. On a personal level, I know them both very well and in addition to being world-class athletes they are great men. They will add value to everything we are striving to achieve at Munster and I know our supporters will be eagerly looking forward to their arrival. Equally, getting Matt on board is fantastic for our backline options. He is an exciting young talent that can play in a number of positions and is from a great rugby pedigree,” he said. 

Munster fans will be delighted with the incomings and it should help them progress further on the European stage from next season as well as bringing them closer to competing for domestic honours too.

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Major League Rugby

Mitchell Set to Come Out of Retirement

Former Wallaby star Drew Mitchell is set to come out of retirement following nearly three years out of the game

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Former Wallabies ace Drew Mitchell is set to come out of retirement and play in the MLR with Rugby United New York according to RugbyPass.

The report claims that Mitchell, who has been out of the game since the end of the 2016/17 season, when he called time on his career, finishing a glittering career with Toulon. 

However, it is now thought that the 34-year-old will link up with the American outfit ahead of the upcoming season which they kick-off against the New England Free Jacks in Las Vegas on February 9th. 

If the move does go through he will join former French star Mathieu Bastareaud on the team’s books and join the growing contingent of players heading stateside. 

Mitchell will bring a huge amount of experience to the side having spent time with Super Rugby side’s the Waratahs, the Force and the Reds, as well as his time in France. While on the international stage he managed to notch up 34 tries in 71 test caps. 

The former star was supposed to be part of Fox Sports TV coverage heading into the new Super Rugby season, but was axed last week. 

Meanwhile, RugbyPass are also claiming that the New York-based team are already lining-up players for next season and are reportedly interested in former England captain Chris Robshaw and former Ireland livewire Simon Zebo, who is currently playing a starring role for Racing 92. 

Mitchell would be a huge boost for not only the team but the league as a whole, while if they can pull off those moves next season it would be more great business as interest grows in the game in the US.

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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Lyon Confirm Two New Signings

French Top 14 leaders Lyon have wasted no time preparing for next season, announcing the arrival of two new summer signings ahead of next season

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(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Current French Top 14 table toppers Lyon have captured the signings of two new players for next season already.

The first of those comes from Irish province Connacht, with the up and coming French outfit bringing in star back-row Colby Fainga’a. 

Fainga’a has been a standout performer since his move to Ireland a year and a half ago and it had been reported that he may depart in the summer over the past few weeks in Irish media. However, it has now been confirmed and is a massive loss for the western province, but a major coup for Lyon. 

Meanwhile, their other new face comes in the form of American player Joe Taufete’e, who will leave English Premiership side the Worcester Warriors to link up with Lyon come the end of the current campaign. 

Taufete’e has been with the the Warriors since 2016, but made a big impact during the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year while playing for the US and was sought after by some sides with Lyon coming out on top. 

The signings have been brought in to try and strengthen their squad in order to compete at both domestic and European level having failed to make an impact in the Champions Cup pool stages this season, being knocked out and winning only one of their six games. 

Their form in the Top 14 however has been incredible, winning 11 of 14 matches so far and will be focusing on clinching the title this season, but can look forward to having their new additions come next season.

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