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Foley Set for Waratahs Departure

Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley has confirmed that he will not be representing the Waratahs next season

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(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Bernard Foley has announced that he will be leaving the Waratahs and heading overseas after the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year. 

The Wallabies out-half is the franchises most-capped No 10 of all time and has 67-caps for Australia to his name however, it is still unknown where he will be playing his rugby next.

Foley admitted that the decision was not easy to make and believes the Waratahs have formed him as a player both on and off the pitch.

“It’s not been an easy decision and one that took a great deal of thought, but to be moving on from the Waratahs is certainly a bittersweet feeling. The Waratahs gave me my first opportunity at professional rugby and I’ve grown so much as a player and a person during my time here, playing with some of the game’s greats and making friendships that will last a lifetime,” he said when talking to the club’s website.

The 29-year-old went on to thank everyone who has been a part of his time with the club.

“It’s been a privilege to represent this great state and my family and friends. I’d like to thank the coaches who have supported me and the teammates I’ve played with over the years. Our fans have been exceptional during my time here and I’d like to thank them for their support, I look forward to cheering on the boys with them well into the future. I’ve loved every minute of my time here, but I’ve got a new challenge in front of me and I’m looking forward to that as well,” he added.

Foley has previously spent time in Japan with the Ricoh Black Rams following the 2015 World Cup and it is reported that he will make a return to the Japanese Top League.

He is the latest in a list of players to confirm their departure from the club after Curtis Rona, Nick Phipps and Sekope Kepu all announced they will be leaving.

If he heads to Japan, he will be following similar footsteps of fellow Wallabies Will Genia and Quade Cooper who announced this week that they will be playing in the Japanese second-tier with Kintestu Liners next year.

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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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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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Sonny Bill Set for Huge Post-RWC Offers

New Zealand veteran Sonny Bill Williams is in line to receive some massive offers once the Rugby World Cup finishes according to reports

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All Black star Sonny Bill Williams is apparently set to receive several offers come the end of his Rugby World Cup campaign according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 34-year-old centre is expected to make his final appearance for the All Blacks this Friday when they take on Wales in the World Cup third-place play-off with his current contract with New Zealand Rugby set to expire once the tournament concludes.

However, according to the report Sonny Bill will not have to wait too long for more rugby as Rugby League side Toronto Wolfpack are preparing to offer him a two-year contract to play in Europe’s Super League, following their promotion to the top tier this year. 

The club who are funded by Australian billionaire David Argyle and are in the market for a marquee signing ahead of the new season with the report claiming that they will offer Williams a massive $9.7 million contract. 

If he moves it will see him return to league following his move to union previously, but when asked about his future during a press conference earlier today Williams refused to give away too many details instead stating fans would learn what’s to come sooner rather than later. 

“Soon bro, soon, we’re just trying to finalise that,” he said in response to a question on clarifying his future. 

There is a possibility that he may stay within rugby union as the report also says that a host of overseas teams are preparing to offer him deals to sign for them. 

Sonny Bill and his New Zealand team will be keeping their eyes on this week’s bronze final, but fans will be hoping that he confirms his plans for the future soon as they want to know where they can see him showcase his talents once more.

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