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A 12-word Ngani Laumape tweet has whipped up his online followers

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

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Former All Blacks midfielder Ngani Laumape has ignited an online debate with his first Twitter message since suddenly exiting Stade Francais. The 29-year-old, who won the last of his 15 Test caps in November 2020, is currently a free agent after it was agreed by the Top 14 club to release the New Zealander from the remaining two years of his contract.

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That confirmation emerged on August 1 and at the time Laumape, in a message posted to Facebook, spoke about his gratitude to Stade Francais for their understanding in allowing him to leave early.

“Thank you Stade Francais for the opportunity. Got to meet some amazing people during my time in Paris which I’ll never forget. Merci. Wish you guys all the best for the upcoming season,” wrote Laumape following his departure from the Top 14 club he played 22 games with following his 2021 arrival from the Hurricanes.”

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It was speculated in the French media that the next stop for Laumape would potentially be the Top League in Japan but there has been nothing concrete about that link and a tweet posted to his Twitter account has now left fans debating when he should next try to play.

“Can’t wait for my first rugby game back wherever I end up,” wrote Laumape on Twitter, his first post on that particular social media platform since he retweeted a July 27 World Rugby video showing Maro Itoje presenting medals to kids on a recent trip to Kenya.

The tweet by Laumape, which has so far attracted more than 80 replies, over 40 retweets and nearly 700 likes, was quickly replied to by Lima Sopoaga, his fellow former All Blacks teammate who now plays his club rugby in France at Lyon. “Just tell the people,” he teased in a four-word response that was followed by three emoji faces with dollar symbols.

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Numerous rugby fans from a wide variety of clubs around the world soon weighed in on the debate, appealing to Laumape to join their team. There was, in particular, much support for Laumape to return to New Zealand as this would make him eligible again for All Blacks selection. JJ Taulagi, the former Samoa centre who will play his club rugby for the 2022/23 season at Massy, added: “Hard out. This guy’s playing with people’s emotions. Dammit.”

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