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Bordeaux make play for Wallaby

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Bordeaux size up Scott Higginbotham after failing to land Taufua

Bordeaux are poised to snap up Reds No8 Scott Higginbotham on a two-year deal when the new Super Rugby season finishes in July.

The French Top 14 club had been chasing the signature of Jordan Taufua from the Crusaders. However, they were forced to alter their plans when it was revealed on February 8 that the New Zealander had been captured by Leicester Tigers.  

Higginbotham, who earned the last of his 34 Wallaby caps in June 2017, has spent the past four seasons double-jobbing, combining his Queensland Super Rugby duties with annual stints in Japan with Green Rockets. 

However, that routine will now end if agreement is reached with Bordeaux who will be under the control of Castres coach Christophe Urios next season. 

A deal with Higginbotham, 32, isn’t fully certain, as French publication Midi Olympique are reporting that the club still have some other options to consider.

But there is every chance he could follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Kane Douglas, the second row who swopped life in Brisbane at the Reds last year for a taste of French rugby with Bordeaux. 

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The incoming Urios has offered interim Bordeaux boss Joe Worsley and assistant Luke Narraway the opportunity to stay on under him as respective defence and forwards coaches.

While the outlook sounds positive for in-demand Australian Higginbotham, the future is uncertain at the moment for fellow countryman Ben Mowen.

The 34-year-old, who has 15 Wallaby caps, has been told he won’t be kept on at Pau when his three-year deal elapses in June. Mowen initially left Australia in 2014 to take up a two-year offer at Montpellier.  

Steffon Armitage is leaving Pau (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Former England international Steffon Armitage and Irish-qualified Sean Dougall are other forwards due to exit at the end of the season from Pau, who have already reached agreement for the early termination of Peter Saili’s contract which was due to last until 2020. 

The 31-year-old had been injury prone since signing for Pau in 2017, featuring in just 12 matches following a similar injury-hit time at Bordeaux whom he joined after quitting the Super Rugby Blues.

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Bordeaux size up Scott Higginbotham after failing to land Taufua