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Racing Considering Sacking of Fijian Star

French Top 14 side Racing 92 are said to be considering sacking one of their most talented and senior players according to reports

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(Photo by REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Racing 92 are contemplating sacking Flying Fijian star Leone Nakarawa after he failed to report for duty last week according to French outlet Midi Olympique.

The 31-year-old is considered among the best locks in the world and after having a torrid time at the Rugby World Cup, where his side were knocked out in the pool stages, he was given 15 days mandatory vacation, 

However, according to the report the second-row has not only failed to report for duty with the club but has also not made contact with the French outfit in a number of weeks which has caused a stir within the club. 

With the club currently sitting in 13th spot in the league, having lost five of their opening eight games, Racing are in desperate need for some of their international stars to return as they prepare get ready to take on rivals Stade Francais this weekend before a monster clash with reigning European champions Saracens in the Champions Cup the following week. 

With Nakarawa apparently being the club’s second-highest paid player at the club behind only out-half Finn Rusell, more is expected of him and the club are looking into three options to discipline the lock ranging from warnings, to a sanction or his dismissal for serious misconduct. 

It is another unwanted scenario for the French giants who have also had to ask prop Ben Tameifuna to drop 20kgs before he is to be considered for selection again as he reported back from the World Cup weighing 160kgs. 

Racing will hope that they can not only get these situations sorted but that in doing so they will manage to get their season back on track following their rough start.

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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Top 14

Montpellier’s New Director of Rugby Announced

There has been plenty of talk in recent months as to who will take over from Vern Cotter at Montpellier, but the Top 14 side have now confirmed their new man

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Top 14 outfit Montpellier have announced that Philippe Saint-Andre will take over the role of director of rugby next month.

The former French head coach has been out of the game since the 2015 Rugby World Cup and has since gone on to set up PSA Academies which coaches rugby to young players across England, Ireland and France. 

However, despite being out of the professional game for some time he has landed the job the club’s president Mohed Altrad confirmed in an interview with L’Agglorieuse. 

“We changed coaches, (Xavier) Garbajosa arrived. (Jean-Baptiste) Elissalde has arrived (as an assistant). Next month, Saint-Andre will arrive. And we will continue to progress,” he said. 

Saint-Andre will take the reins from current director of rugby Vern Cotter and does have experience in the position having performed the role at the likes of Gloucester, Sale Sharks and Toulon previously. Under his watch the Sharks went on to win the Premiership title in 2006 so fans will be hoping for a similar result. 

However, his arrival means that former Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has missed out on the appointment having been favourite to take the role at one point. Cheika has been out of work since calling time on his career with the Wallabies and we will now have to wait and see where his next job lies.

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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.

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