French newspaper Midi Olympique reports that ex-All Black loose forward Victor Vito is a target for Premiership club Bristol Bears, who is coming off contract with La Rochelle at the end of the season.
The departure of Vito is reportedly anticipated by the French club, who have been trying to extend the 31-year-old. In August this year, Vito indicated he wanted to stay advising contract details were being finalised.
“We are discussing the final details, we will see what will happens. Yes, I want to continue,” he said at the time.
Despite those contract talks, Midi reports that Pat Lam has made it clear to Vito’s representatives that he is one of Bristol’s top recruitment priorities for next season, who are preparing to loose another All Black loose forward, Steven Luatua.
Luatua is believed to be contemplating a return to New Zealand in order to reignite his international career ahead of next year’s World Cup, making Vito an ideal replacement.
Vito, who was capped 33 times for the All Blacks, was voted the best player in the Top 14 in 2017. La Rochelle finished top of the Top 14 table but was upset in the semi-final by the 4th seeded Toulon.
In other news:
RugbyPass has created a next generation rugby rating system, based on machine learning and shaped by game winning moments. The system (RPI) is a world first for its complexity and comprehensive embrace of northern and southern hemisphere players and teams. By using in-depth data analysis, RPI determines exactly what it takes to win, in real time. Explore the RPI now!