Tuesday’s rugby news has more defectors to French rugby, the Force looking for a fresh start, sporting codes coordinating in Canberra and Halfpenny in demand.
Tomane bound for France
The ACT Brumbies look set to lose another Wallabies representative, with winger Joe Tomane reported to be linking with former Brumbies coach Jake White at French Top 14 club Montpellier. French regional newspaper Midi Libre is reporting Tomane and Canterbury Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo will move to France at the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
It would be a huge blow for the Brumbies after Wallaby Matt Toomua signed a three-year deal with Leicester. Tomane would join former Brumbies players Jesse Mogg, Nic White and Ben Mowen in Montpellier.
Force looking to move on
The Western Force experienced a horror last season, but centre Kyle Godwin is confident they’ve rediscovered their identity after a brutally honest review. The Force finished dead last in 2015 in a season that produced just three wins from 16 games.
“We’ve had a huge group effort to work on the things we want to put behind us,” Godwin said. “We’re going to be playing with a bit of speed and width so hopefully we’ll be playing some entertaining rugby.” The 23-year-old played mainly at 13 in 2015 but has been training at inside centre during the preseason with the addition of former Queensland Reds centre Ben Tapuai.
Canberra triple-header set
Canberra’s sporting codes will be organising a ‘triple whammy’ of events next year, with the Brumbies, Raiders and Black Opal race day all locked in for March 4-6. The packed weekend gives a representation of the sporting competition in the nation’s capital, with six weekends of at least two games involving the Brumbies, Raiders and GWS Giants.
“We don’t see it as taking away from each other, if people want to come to Canberra on that weekend they’re going to get a triple whammy,” Brumbies boss Michael Jones said. He also asserted that there is not a massive overlap in crowds for the Brumbies and Raiders and that a two-for-one deal would encourage larger crowds.
Scarlets targeting Halfpenny
Should Toulon star Leigh Halfpenny choose to return to Wales, the Scarlets have made it clear that he will be highly sought after. Halfpenny’s two-year contract with the European champions is up at the end of the season, and although he has an option of extending his stay to a third year, a return to the PRO12 is also a possibility.
The 26-year-old is currently recovering from a knee ligament injury which ruled him out of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. “If he is serious about returning we’d be interested to talk to him,” Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac said. Any return to Wales by Halfpenny would likely be on a national dual contract funded 60% by the Welsh Rugby Union.