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Top 14

Toulon star to quit club at end of the season.

It’s been rumoured for some time.

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Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

It has been rumoured for sometime that the French and Toulon star would be off at the end of the season but he confirmed the news on his instagram over the weekend.

Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc announced on Sunday that he will leave the club at the end of the season to join Top 14 rivals Racing 92.

According to an AFP report, the 32-year-old, who joined Toulon in 2016 after 12 season with Montpellier, has agreed a two-year deal with the Parisian club.

“I have decided to join Racing 92 for the rest of my career,”

“I was very satisfied with the project proposed by the officials and coaches.”

He will join the club shortly after Dan Carter’s stint as a medical joker comes to an end and will compete with Finn Russell for the 10 jersey.

Top 14

Toulon Owner Confirms his Favourite Signing

Departing Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has spoken about his favourite signing out of his star-studded squads throughout the years

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(Photo credit should read BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mourad Boujellal has given his verdict on his favourite signing during his tenure as Top 14 outfit Toulon.

The long-serving owner announced that he will be leaving the role come the end of the summer with Bernard Lemaitre coming in. 

When he took over the club were in the French second-division, but they have since gone on to not only be promoted but have asserted themselves as one of the top teams in Europe winning both the Top 14 and the Champions Cup in recent years. 

His teams have been helped by a certain amount of star power which has included the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Tana Umaga, Freddy Michalak and Bryan Habana, and he has named his favourite signing of the bunch. 

“Everyone will say Jonny Wilkinson but I’m with Tana Umaga. At that time, I was a young president who knew nothing about rugby. This does not mean that I understand this game better now, but I have become an old president. I wanted to do something incredible, something unreal. The magic was that Umaga came as a freelance in Pro D2. And the transplant took – he stayed more than three years and remains an icon. I am also proud to have listened to Umaga and followed my instinct. He told me, ‘There is a player at XIIIs who has all the qualities to become a world star at XVs’. I did not know him and I signed him. The guy was Sonny Bill Williams. It was still listening to my intuition that I hired Wilkinson, Juan Smith, Bryan Habana or Frederic Michalak… I loved following this kind of file,” he said while speaking to French news outlet Midi Olympique. 

With him stepping aside many are wondering what he will do next and there are reports of him being a contender for the presidential position in the French League, and he has mixed views on the potential role. 

“There is a certain fatigue that has set in with the battle against the regulations. I became more of a lawyer than a club president. When I took over the RCT, my goal was to make dreams in a city whose DNA is rugby. I wanted to hear Mayol’s cathedral vibrate again. If I’m a candidate, I want to be credible. And to be you have to have a coherent programme. If I have one that meets the needs of the professionals, I’ll go. I am aware of being a very divisive character. Will people vote for a person or a programme? If I’m a candidate, in my wardrobe there will be a drawer for each club designed to create collective wealth. Today, the League is plagued by the philosophy of Limoges, according to which money kills the sport,” he said. 

His presidency of Toulon is not set to run out until 2023 but as mentioned above he is expected to depart next summer, but he may stay on and have a role with the club for the future. 

Whatever happens his time in Toulon will be remembered fondly by the locals as he has helped them become a rugby powerhouse.

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Top 14

Nakarawa Sacked by Racing 92

Racing 92 have confirmed that star lock Leone Nakarawa has been sacked by the French giants

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(Photo by REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa has been sacked by French powerhouse Racing 92 the club has announced.

The star second-row, regarded by many as the best player in his position on the planet failed to report back to club duty following his country’s Rugby World Cup pool stage exit as he was reportedly helping build a house for his family in the Pacific Islands. 

It was reported previously that Racing had tried to get in contact with the Fijian during his absence from the club, but were unable to reach him and in a statement by the club today they confirmed he had been dismissed of his role. 

“After a few days thinking about the legal deadlines, Jacky Lorenzetti has decided to break Nakarawa’s contract. This decision, taken in consultation with the sporting director of the club, follows on from the proven disciplinary manoeuvres of Nakarawa who, in particular, did not show up at the resumption of the training programme on October 28. Nakarara, moreover, refused to answer the messages that the club addressed to him after having noted his unjustified absence and was willing to fix the date of his return,” the statement read. 

Having been named the 2018 European Cup player of the year and being seen as a leader among the dressing room, Racing admitted they were unimpressed by the example he was setting for the younger players and thus came to their conclusion. 

“His abandonment of his post for more than two weeks has been a serious prejudice to Racing… moreover, it is a deplorable example for Racing players as his title of best player in the 2018 European Cup should have encouraged him to be exemplary. At Racing, the only star is the team and the individualistic attitude of Nakarawa is inconceivable. It indicates a total lack of team spirit and a characterised insubordination. In the interests of preserving the institution of Racing, this decision of rupture was imperative,” the statement ended. 

The 31-year-old joined the Top 14 outfit in 2016 following a stint with the Glasgow Warriors and on the back of winning an Olympic gold medal in Rio in sevens with Fiji. 

However, his behaviour has lead to an unhappy ending in France, although his absence from the game may be short-lived as he is rumoured to be on the radar of some English Premiership teams following his Racing departure.

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Champions Cup

Kolbe Aims for Two More Gold Medals

Fresh off the back of his Rugby World Cup victory with South Africa, Cheslin Kolbe has confirmed that he has ambitions to add two further gold medals to his cabinet

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(Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

South African Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe has admitted he would like to win not only the Champions Cup but also Olympic gold with the Blitzbokke in 2020.

The flying-winger, who was also part of Toulouse’s Top14 winning team last season, as well as the Springboks Rugby Championship winning squad before the World Cup has set his sights on those two competitions in particular. 

“There are two more things I would still love to achieve and that’s probably winning the European Champions Cup and hopefully the Olympics with South Africa. I will keep on working hard and if there’s a door that opens or an opportunity that comes my way I’ll just make sure that I’m ready for whatever opportunities,” he said after being crowned the Top14 player of the year at Monday’s awards ceremony. 

The 26-year-old has previous experience with the South African Rugby Sevens having featured during their 2016 Olympic campaign and admitted that he is hopeful he can be a part of the set-up once again, but it is yet to be discussed. 

“I haven’t discussed it in person with SA Rugby. It’s something I would love to be a part of. It’s another big event. It’s probably one of the biggest stages of rugby or sport. If it does it happen, it happens,” he added. 

As well as being part of winning teams this year, and claiming last night’s top prize, Kolbe was also nominated for World Rugby player of the year, which he lost out to Springbok teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit and is thankful for the players he has had around him during his successful year. 

“It’s been a phenomenal season, not just for me but for my club and for my country, winning the Top 14, The Rugby Championship and then World Cup in one year I’m really blessed. I couldn’t have done this without all my team-mates. I give credit to all of them because if they didn’t create opportunities for me as a winger to finish off I wouldn’t be standing here now,” he finished. 

Kolbe will be hoping to hear from the Blitzbokke soon with regard to his chances of featuring at the Olympics next year, however, before then he will be not only trying to achieve his goal of Champions Cup success but help Toulouse climb the Top14 table where they currently sit in eighth position.

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