Planet Rugby recaps some of the biggest transfer news, rumours and movements in the world of rugby union over the past week.
Warrick Gelant, Ben Volavola, Agen target Welsh trio
Gelant leaves Paris: Racing 92 have confirmed the departure of Warrick Gelant. The Springboks full-back spent just one season at the side and is now set to return to the Stormers.
Fiji star Volavola departs Racing 92: The Top 14 side also confirmed the departure of fly-half Ben Volavola. He was linked with a move to Harlequins earlier this year, but after the signing of Jarrod Evans, he is unlikely to join the Premiership side.
Welsh trio: Pro D2 outfit, Agen, are in the midst of a takeover deal are reportedly interested in signing Rhys Patchell, Rhys Webb and Tyler Morgan ahead of next season. The Rugby Paper and Midi Olympique have reported Agen’s interest in the trio.
Mohamed Haouas, Pierre Fouyssac, Antoine Dupont
Clermont try to offload Mohamed Haouas: The Top 14 club attempted to cancel the disgraced prop’s contract but have been told by a tribunal to go through the proper procedures. Haouas was handed a one-year jail sentence at the end of May for striking his partner at a shopping centre and signed a deal to join Clermont from Montpellier ahead of next season.
🗣️ "We did not have – when signing the contract – all useful information about the qualities of the player and was not aware of important facts about him."
🇫🇷 Clermont claim that they were tricked into signing Mohamed Haouas.https://t.co/xQG83ODiWD
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) June 27, 2023
Clermont sign Toulouse star: Clermont have announced the signing of Pierre Fouyssac from Toulouse. The highly rated back can cover centre and wing and arrives at the side after five years in Toulouse, winning three trophies.
Dupont to play in the Olympics?: Toulouse boss Ugo Mola confirmed this week that Antoine Dupont could turn out for France at the Olympics next year, provided that the league officials, Toulouse and FFR agree on who covers his salary. If Dupont does feature in the Olympics, he will miss most, if not all, of the 2023/24 season for Toulouse.
Melvyn Jaminet, Ben White, Vakhtang Abdaladze
Toulouse block Jaminet departure: Toulon have made multiple attempts to sign full-back Melyn Jaminet from Toulouse. However, Midi Olympique reports that Toulouse are not willing to hear offers from the clubs. Toulon are looking for a replacement for Cheslin Kolbe who is off to Japan.
Toulon battle for White: The Rugby Paper reports that Toulon have Ben White ‘in their sights’ as they look to court the Scotland international across the channel but are facing stiff competition from Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh.
Abdaladze leaves Leinster: Georgian prop Vakhtang Abdaladze has left Leinster with immediate effect to sign with Brive on a two-year deal. The 27-year-old still had one year left on his contract with the Irish province. He played 27 times for Leinster and will now ply his trade in the second division in France.
Marvin Orie, Tinus de Beer, Sbu Nkosi, Bulls
Perpignan target Bok lock: Springboks lock Marvin Orie has drawn the interest of ambitious Top 14 club Perpignan. According to Midi Olympique, the club has already sent an offer to the 30-year-old, who is seen as a key target ahead of next season.
Nkosi leaves Bulls: The Bulls confirmed this week that they had reached an agreement with Springboks World Cup-winning wing Sbu Nkosi to terminate his contract by mutual consent. The 27-year-old will look to pursue his rugby elsewhere.
Cardiff to land fly-half’s signature: After initially blocking the move, the Welsh Rugby Union have reportedly greenlit Cardiff’s move to sign fly-half Tinus de Beer from Currie Cup outfit the Pumas.
Bulls sign Sharks pair: According to reports in South Africa, the Bulls have snapped up Sharks forwards Khutha Mchunu and Mpilo Gumede ahead of next season.
Ruan Pienaar, Matt Proudfoot, Boland Kavaliers
Pienaar pens new deal: Cheetahs veteran Ruan Pienaar put pen to paper on a new contract with the side ahead of the Currie Cup final, where he steered the side to victory. The veteran half-back started the game at fly-half and will now extend his career past his 40th birthday.
Proudfoot told to reapply at Maties: Former England scrum coach Matthew Proudfoot has been told to reapply for his job as head coach of the Varsity Cup team, the Maties. According to Rapport, the university was not pleased with just four wins from seven matches and are exploring its options ahead of next year.
Bulls owners buy Boland: According to Rapport, the consortium that owns a 74% share of the Bulls have purchased a 74% share in the Boland Rugby Union in the Western Cape. The union is a hotbed for talent that often filters into the Western Province and Stormers set-up and has been purchased by Johann Rupert and Patrice Motsepe’s consortium.
Vern Cotter, Blues departees
Cotter to fill Blues’ vacancy: Former Fiji head coach Vern Cotter is set to be named as the new Blues head coach ahead of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season. Multiple outlets in New Zealand reported that the 61-year-old will take over from Leon MacDonald, who will join Scott Robertson’s All Blacks coaching team after the Rugby World Cup.
Blues departees: Meanwhile, the Blues have announced a host of departures this week, which includes Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Taine Plumtree, James Tucker, Caleb Tangitau, Alex Hodgman and Nepo Laulala.
Laulala heads to France: The Blues confirmed that the All Blacks tighthead will be heading to France with reports stating that Top 14 champions Toulouse have secured his services. He will replace the retiring Charlie Faumuina at the side.
Signing and re-signing: The Auckland-based side have confirmed the arrival of promising 22-year-old lock Edward Annandale from French side Clermont while wing Mark Telea, their MVP for 2023, has signed a new two-year deal with the team.
Josh Dickson, Melbourne Rebels’ signings
Highlanders lose lock to Japan: Meanwhile, the Highlanders will be without lock Josh Dickson, who has signed with Toyota Verblitz, where he will join All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith.
Rebels sign Reds winger: The Melbourne Rebels confirmed the departures of Trevor Hosea and Tamati Ioane to Japan this week but have been boosted by the arrival of Filipo Daugunu from the Reds. The Wallabies flyer has signed a two-year deal with the side, who have already signed Jordan Uelese, Pone Fa’amausili, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Darby Lancaster and Taniela Tupou ahead of the 2024 season.
Another signing incoming: According to Roar Sports, the Rebels are set to secure the services of former Northampton and Hurricanes back Matt Proctor, who will join the side after being released by the Saints.
Iain Henderson, Liam Williams, Mike Blair
Ireland lock re-signs: Ulster lock Iain Henderson has signed a two-year contract extension with the IRFU, keeping him at Ulster until the end of the 2024/25 season. The 72-cap international was linked with a move to Toulouse following the Rugby World Cup but opted to remain at the Irish province instead.
🗣️ “It is an incredible honour pulling on my provincial and international colours, and I believe that there is more to come.”
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) June 23, 2023
Kubota sign Wales full-back: Japan Rugby League One champions, the Kubota Spears, have announced the signing of British and Irish Lions and Wales full-back Liam Williams ahead of next season.
Blair joins Rennie in Japan: Former Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair has been announced as part of the Kobe Steelers coaching staff next season. He joins as former Wallabies coach Dave Rennie’s assistant.
Michael Collins, Scott Baldwin
Collins leaves Ospreys: Michael Collins has confirmed that he has left the Ospreys after two seasons at the club. The Welsh-qualified back said on social media: “Absolutely loved my time at the Ospreys, looking forward to the new challenge ahead.”
Baldwin retires to take up coaching gig: Wales hooker Scott Baldwin also confirmed this week that he was hanging up his boots to take up a coaching role with Newcastle Falcons.