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May 4, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 05/04/2013

Grenoble close in on Olly Barkley

Top 14 side Grenoble are close to securing the signing of former Bath back Olly Barkley from Racing Metro.

The 23-cap England international joined Metro earlier this season as a medical joker and ESPNscrum understands he is set to prolong his stay in France with Grenoble his expected destination.

April 28, 2013

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 04/28/2013

Clermont eye Halfpenny

Clermont Auvergne have reportedly set their sights on signing Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny.

The Rugby Paper claims the French giants will make a move for the 24-year-old at the end of the next season when his current contract with PRO12 side Cardiff Blues expires. The newspaper suggests that Clermont see Halfpenny as the perfect replacement for current fullback - and another Wales international - Lee Byrne whose contract runs until next season.

March 13, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/13/2013

Toulouse keen on Du Plessis brothers

According to reports from South Africa, Top 14 giants Toulouse are keen on bringing Du Plessis brothers Bismarck and Jannie to France. The duo's contracts are up at the end of the season with the Sharks and the Top 14 champions are keen on bolstering their front-row resources with the Springboks.

March 10, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/10/2013

Clermont have Halfpenny in their sights

Clermont Auvergne are keen on tying down Leigh Halfpenny despite the fullback having another year left on his contract, according to the Rugby Paper. Halfpenny's current Cardiff Blues deal expires at the end of the 2013-14 campaign and Clermont could turn to the prolific Welsh international to replace Lee Byrne whose contract comes to an end next summer.

March 5, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/05/2013

Perpignan line up Tommaso Benvenuti?

Perpignan have reportedly lined up Italian winger Treviso's Tommaso Benvenuti ahead of next season. L'Independant claims that the Top 14 club see him as a replacement for Adrien Plante who is on the verge of switching to Racing Metro.

February 27, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 02/27/2013

Montpellier close in on Rene Ranger

Montpellier are reportedly on the verge of agreeing a deal to sign Blues back Rene Ranger.

Reports in New Zealand claim the deal is done but Ranger is adamant that he has not yet committed to the Top 14 move. "There's rumours but nothing is official yet," Ranger told Fairfax News. "I haven't signed anything yet. A lot of clubs are on the ropes overseas so my options are open. At the moment I'm here with the Blues, signed with the NZRU for a year and still playing for Northlan."

February 20, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 02/20/2013

Sexton closes in on Racing Metro move

Reports in L'Equipe claim that Racing Metro have finally secured the signing of Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton on a contract worth a reported €600,000 a year.

January 22, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/22/2013

Sackey's days at Stade are over

According to reports in L'Equipe, former England winger Paul Sackey will not have his contract renewed at Stade Francais. He joined the club in 2011 but like his team-mate Francis Fainifo, it seems that he will leave the Parisian side at the end of the season.

January 21, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/21/2013

Toulon to move for Munster prop?

According to reports in L'Equipe, Toulon are keen on adding Munster prop BJ Botha to their burgeoning front-row resources. The Top 14 big-spenders are reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Leicester's Martin Castrogiovanni and also appear to be keen on securing Botha.

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/21/2013

Kennedy on Gloucester's radar?

Toulon second-row Nick Kennedy is reportedly on Gloucester's wanted list ahead of next season, according to Midi Olympique. The Cherry and Whites will lose Jim Hamilton at the end of the season while Alex Brown has been forced to retire.

January 16, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/16/2013

Stade Francais close in on Taulafo

London Wasps prop Zac Taulafo has reportedly signed a three-year deal with Top 14 giants Stade Francais. The loose-head has made 51 appearances since he joined them in 2010 but looks set to leave the club at the end of the season. L'Equipe also claims that Stade have secured Andrea Cocagi from L'Aquila.

January 11, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/11/2013

Botha welcomes Smit to Toulon

South Africa second-row Bakkies Botha has seemingly confirmed that World Cup-winning hooker and captain John Smit will join Toulon next season. Smit has been strongly linked with a one-year stint at Toulon after his Saracens contract finishes this season.

And Botha, when welcoming new recruit Bryan Habana to Toulon, also greeted Smit. Botha's Tweet read: "Welcome @bigjoevn @JohnSmit123 @BryanHabana Danie Rossouw and maby Classens let see. Small boktown in Toulon Lets go RCT." (sic)

January 3, 2013

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/03/2013

Heymans to leave Bayonne

Bayonne and former France flyer Cedric Heymans has taken advantage of a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the club at the end of the season. It is unclear whether he will play on, as he is in the twilight years of his career, but he is adamant that he will not "close any doors".

December 27, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 12/27/2012

Castrogiovanni to join Toulon?

Reports in French paper La Provence claim that Leicester Tigers tight-head Martin Castrogiovanni has agreed to join Top 14 big-spenders Toulon ahead of next season. The prop's contract is up at the end of the season and he could link up with the likes of Carl Hayman, Gethin Jenkins, Andrew Sheridan and John Smit in their front-row next term.

December 16, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 12/16/2012

Ion to Perpignan?

Reports in L'Equipe claim that Top 14 side Perpignan have secured the signing of London Welsh prop Paulica Ion a two-year-deal ahead of next season. Ion is currently on loan at the Aviva Premiership side from rivals London Irish but will journey cross-Channel to the Catalan side for the 2013-14 season.

December 13, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 12/13/2012

John Smit to Toulon?

Toulon are on the verge of agreeing a deal for ex-Springboks skipper John Smit. With Sebastien Bruno retiring at the end of the season, Toulon are potentially a hooker down and they have earmarked Smit as the ideal replacement for the ex-Sale front-rower.

December 4, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 12/04/2012

Mas swaps Perpignan for Montpellier

Reports in Midi Olympique claim that French prop Nicolas Mas will play for Montpellier next season after penning a three-year deal with the Top 14 side. Mas currently turns out for Perpignan but looks set to be on the opposite side to them next term and according to reports in the newspaper, he will be the first of a number of new recruits for the Stade Yves-du-Manoir side.

November 22, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 11/22/2012

Tonga'uiha courting cross-Channel interest

Reports in France claim that both Toulon and Racing Metro are keen on securing the services of loose-head prop Soana Tonga'uiha. The Saints front-rower's contract is up at the end of the season and with Toulon loosehead Gethin Jenkins widely expected to be keen on leaving the Top 14 side, it is reported that the French club are keen on bringing in Tonga'uiha to plug that gap.

November 13, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 11/13/2012

Biggar set for France switch?

With Racing Metro hot on the heels of Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate, according to reports on Wales Online, they are also keen on recruiting Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar. The fly-half's contract is up at the end of the season and after spurning Racing's advances last season, he is reported to be considering making the cross-Channel switch this time around.

November 6, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 11/06/2012

Racing Metro circling Premiership props?

According to The Rugby Paper, Racing Metro are keen on recruiting both Northampton's Soane Tonga'uiha and Leicester's Martin Castrogiovanni ahead of next season. The duo's contracts are both up at the end of the current campaign and with the Parisian giants already linked with Dan Lydiate, they seem to be keen on bolstering their front-row.

October 24, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 10/24/2012

Racing Metro eye Carter?

Dan Carter could be in line for another stint in the Top 14 but this time with Racing Metro, according to the Guardian. The newspaper claims that "informed sources" suggest that Carter could be a target for the Parisian giants. Carter has played in the French top flight before but it was with Perpignan.

October 23, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 10/23/2012

Wilkinson rejects Clermont move

Reports in Midi Olympique claim that Clermont Auvergne offered Jonny Wilkinson a two-year deal to swap Toulon for Montferrand but the offer was turned down. Wilkinson's contract is up at the end of the year and he looks set to either remain at Toulon or hang up his boots. Reports in the French press say that Wilkinson will make a decision in December.

October 17, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 10/17/2012

Toulon rule out Roberts approach

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has distanced his side from making a move for in demand Welsh centre Jamie Roberts. Laporte told the BBC that they were "not in the market" for another centre with the likes of Maxime Mermoz, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau and Geoffroy Messina on their books. Roberts has been previously linked with a switch to fellow Top 14 sides Racing Metro and Toulouse.

October 10, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 10/10/2012

Lydiate a target for Racing Metro?

Reports on Wales Online suggest that Racing Metro are keen on adding Dan Lydiate to their back-row resources. The big spending French side are already linked with Jamie Roberts and are reportedly keen on bringing in fellow Welsh international Lydiate as well.

October 9, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 10/09/2012

Rougerie set to spurn Japan to stay with Clermont

According to reports on RugbyRama, Clermont skipper Aurelien Rougerie will turn down advances from Japanese club the Toyota Brave Lupus to stay with the French side. Rougerie's contract is up at the end of the season but he looks set to pen a new two-year deal with Auvergne.

September 27, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 09/27/2012

Smith set to switch to France?

Reports in the South African press claim that Springboks flanker Juan Smith is a target for some of France's best clubs. Smith has been injured for the large majority of the past two years but Bayonne are reported to be leading the way for his signature.

September 24, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 09/24/2012

Toulon close in on former Bok?

Reports in the French press suggest that Toulon are looking to bring in ex-Boks lock Danie Rossouw to play alongside Bakkies Botha in their second-row. They recruited Nick Kennedy over the summer and have Simon Shaw on their books, but La Provence claims that they are keen on adding another option.

September 18, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 09/18/2012

Racing Metro chase Barkley?

Reports in the French press suggest that Racing Metro - with Juan Martin Hernandez on international duty and with both Jonathan Wisniewski and Benjamin Dambielle sidelined - are keen on bringing in a fly-half as an injury joker. It appears that they are keen on pursuing Olly Barkley but he is still under contract at the Aviva Premiership side. One other option, according to reports, is former Bath fly-half Butch James.

August 25, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 08/25/2012

Haughton to Perpignan?

French newspaper L'Equipe reports that ex-Wasps fullback Richard Haughton is set to sign a six-month contract with Perpignan as their injury joker. Sofiane Guitoune suffered a long-term injury in their Top 14 opener and although Haughton is a new arrival at Championship side Jersey, he looks set to make the switch to France.

August 24, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 08/24/2012

Elsom to join Toulon?

Former Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom has failed his medical with the Kobe Steelers and has since been seen at Toulon chatting with Mourad Boudjellal, according to reports in the French press. French PROD2 side Narbonne have also been linked with Elsom.

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 08/24/2012

Fourie set to join Toulon

Stormers hooker Dean Fourie looks set to join the Top 14 Orange giants Toulon. They currently have Sebastian Bruno in their ranks but have made no secret of the fact that they are looking to bolster their resources with another hooker. Fourie is likely to link up with Toulon after the culmination of the Currie Cup.

August 21, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 08/21/2012

Perpignan to dip into transfer market

Top 14 Orange side Perpignan look set to enter the transfer market for an injury joker after Sofiane Guitoune was ruled out for six months. He joined the Catalan from Albi in the close season and ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments against Toulon on Saturday.

July 24, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 07/24/2012

Toulon to bolster squad?

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has revealed that he has the budget available if he wants to add a couple of fresh faces once the current season of Super Rugby is over. Boudjellal said: "We want to build with players of a very high level but we have time. We'll start with this group and we'll see in November. We have the means to add if we need, we have budgeted for two players of a high level. For now, they are all taken by the Super XV."

July 20, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 07/20/2012

Stade bring in pair of Pumas

Argentina Under-20s skipper Juan Cruz Guillemain and Lisandro Gomez Lopez have both joined Stade Francais ahead of the new season. Guillemain impressed during the recent Junior World Championship while Lopez arrives from Pampas XV.

July 13, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 07/13/2012

Toulouse close to signing young prop

Toulouse have reportedly agreed a deal with Lyon to sign their young prop Antoine Guillamon. The prop was said to be keen on leaving the PROD2 side after their relegation from the Top 14 with a move to Toulouse in the pipeline. But Toulouse have now stumped up a transfer fee for the 21-year-old with his transfer expected to be completed in the coming days.

July 6, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 07/06/2012

No French suitors for Henson

Reports on rugby-transferts.com claim that Gavin Henson has no offers on the table across the Channel in France. With London Welsh rumoured to be interested in securing the controversial utility back's services, it seems that they could be his only option with no potential suitors in the Top 14.

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 07/06/2012

Biarritz to sign forgotten prop?

Reports in France suggest that Biarritz have lined up a deal for Stormers prop Wicas Blauuw. Blauuw has spent time at Castres in the past as their medical joker, and RugbyRama claims that his next port of call could well be Biarritz.

June 19, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 06/19/2012

Toulon linked with Boks duo

Toulon are reportedly keen on securing Springboks duo Adriaan Strauss and CJ Van der Linde. Reports in the French press suggest that Van der Linde could be recruited as a medical joker outside of the transfer window come the end of this season's Super Rugby.

June 2, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 06/02/2012

Dominici desperate for Stade call

Former Stade Francais wing Christophe Dominici has issued a come and get me plea to new team manager Chris Pool-Jones, Midi Olympique reports. "The only club were I want to be involved and where I want to do great things is Stade Francais, but they haven't even called. This is my club," Dominici said. Dominici played for the Parisians from 1997 until 2008 then took over as coach for a season after he retired from playing.

June 1, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 06/01/2012

Agulla to Racing Metro?

The Leicester Mercury claims that Pumas flyer Horacio Agulla is reportedly close to joining Racing Metro ahead of next season. The diminutive winger was keen to stay at Welford Road but due to the newly-formed Rugby Championship running on until October, Agulla looks set for a switch to France.

May 28, 2012

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 05/28/2012

Blair to Brive?

Despite their relegation from the Top 14 Orange, Mike Blair is reportedly on the verge of agreeing to join Brive. Blair was linked to Perpignan and to the Western Force but reports from across the Channel suggest that the 80-cap scrum-half will play in France next term.

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