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Racing Issue Short Statement on Nakarawa

There has been plenty of talk over what’s going on with Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa and Racing 92 and the club have finally released a statement on the matter



(Photo by REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Racing 92 have issued a brief statement regarding second-row Leone Nakarawa following the forwards’ failure to arrive back at the club after his Rugby World Cup lay-off period.

Nakarawa, who played in all four of Fiji’s World Cup games, was expected to return to the club around the 28th of October according to reports. However, he is yet to return, with it understood that the French outfit did not agree to extend his leave and are not pleased. 

In a short statement the club confirmed they wanted an interview with Nakarawa before handing him any punishment. 

“Racing 92 have provisionally laid off Leone Nakarawa and summoned him to an interview prior to a possible sanction. The club will make no further comments about this decision,” a statement on the club website read. 

The lock has been taken off the club roster ahead of their opening Champions Cup game against holders Saracens this weekend following the decision. 

It is believed that he has remained in Fiji to help build a house for his family, but did not clear up the situation with his employers beforehand. 

A tweet by Pacific Rugby Welfare last week stated that Racing knew where and what the lock was doing, but it appears as though that is not the case. 

Nakarawa is thought to be one of the highest earning players at the club and is regarded as one of the best players in his position on the planet, although we will now have to wait and see what he does next following this saga of events. 

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



(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 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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Super Rugby

Savea Confirms his Favourite Between Super Rugby and Top 14

Julian Savea has had a mixed couple of seasons since leaving the Hurricanes and he has now confirmed which competition he prefers between Super Rugby and the Top 14 and why



(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Toulon star Julian Savea has admitted which competition he prefers between Super Rugby and the Top 14 while being interviewed by Toulon’s website.

The former All Blacks ace, who managed to score 46 tries in just 54 international appearances, played for the Hurricanes for eight seasons before his move to Toulon, confirmed that the former competition would be his preference due to the season length. 

“I’d go Super Rugby, just because it’s a smaller competition. The Top 14’s definitely a long season, and the shorter the better. When pressed further on his stance, Savea replied: [It’s] a little bit different, just because now you have to maintain all your players because it’s a longer season, and just making sure that everyone’s always ready to play. In Super Rugby, you don’t have to count for that many injuries because the season’s short,” he said. 

It comes as little surprise that Savea would choose Super Rugby having managed to make 116 appearances for the Canes scoring 45 tries along the way and helping them to their first title in 2016. 

However, his reasoning for choosing the competition is unusual considering he has suffered a tough time since his move to France. His relationship with recently departed owner Mourad Boudjellal caught the headlines for the wrong reasons, with the owner appearing to try to push Savea out of the club last season. 

Although both Savea and his current club are experiencing better fortunes this season with the club now sitting third in the table and firmly within the play-off places thanks to a 43-3 win over Castres yesterday. 

Savea’s point about player welfare and keeping them fit during the long season rang through in that game with the winger missing out due to illness as they reached the halfway-point. 

Next up for Toulon and Savea is a Champions Cup clash with the Scarlets in Wales, before a game against Bayonne to finish off the pool stages as they look to progress to the knock-out stages. 

While next up in the Top 14 is a clash against second-placed Lyon on January 25th, but while his short-term future clearly lies in France, Savea’s comments raise the possibility of a future return to Super Rugby.

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Webb’s Short-Term Future Looks Bleak

Last week Rhys Webb secured a move back to former team the Ospreys come the end of the season, but this week he will be far from happy as he looks set for a disappointing second-half of the season with current club Toulon



(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb appears as though he may have played his final game for Top 14 giants Toulon with the club’s owner far from happy with the player’s behaviour surrounding his move back to the Ospreys.

It was confirmed last week that Webb’s original three-year deal with Toulon would be cut short by a year to allow him to return to the Ospreys for family reasons. 

However, Toulon owner, Bernard Lemaitre, seems far from impressed by how Webb went about his return and claimed that it is unlikely that he will put on a Toulon jersey again. 

“His family returned to Wales, it’s difficult for him to live. We made beach-sized amounts of time for him to go back to Wales and see them. We arrive at a situation where at the end we liberate Rhys of his final year of his contract, which is of the 2020-21 season. All of a sudden we learn he has already signed for his former club Ospreys and his agent had already negotiated with the Welsh union that he can be selected by Wales. It’s a dishonest attitude. It takes us to a situation that means I don’t think Rhys will play for us for the rest of the season. The adventure will be cut short,” he said while speaking to French radio station Sud Radio. 

Having only left the Ospreys at the end of the 2018 season to join the French outfit, his time in France looks to be ending even sooner than he would have liked having claimed last week that he would give his all to Toulon for the remainder of the season. 

That means that despite Wales announcing last week that Webb would be eligible for selection by national team head coach Wayne Pivac in the upcoming Six Nations campaign that he may have no game-time between now and then, leaving it unlikely for him to be selected. 

All of which could mean that Webb could be left out of action until he next plays for the Ospreys in the 2020/21 pre-season. 

It would be a massive blow for the 31-year-old, who was upbeat about a return to the club that he previously spent 10-years at, and with time ticking some time-out of the game could have more long-term consequences on his national career as players will hope to impress in his absence.

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