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Ex-England back-rower Teimana Harrison linked with move to France

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

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PRO D2 club Provence are reportedly interested in bolstering their pack with two players who have huge Gallagher Premiership experience, Northampton back-rower Teimana Harrison and ex-Harlequins lock Tevita Cavubati who is currently at Perpignan. 

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A deal for ex-England international Harrison would be a huge development for the French club who are currently placed ninth in the second tier. 

It was last month when the 29-year-old from New Zealand was linked with a switch to Leicester from Northampton where his current deal is set to expire at the end of this season, coinciding with the departure of Chris Boyd as their director of rugby. 

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Harrison, who was tempted to follow the path fellow Kiwi Dylan Hartley took at Northampton when they met at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, was capped on five occasions by England boss Eddie Jones in 2016.

It was September 2020 when Harrison spoke with RugbyPass about his lingering England hopes. “That is always the ambition – until I retire I’ll be gunning for an England spot again,” he said. “But no, I don’t think I will be in the mix for that. No contact from Eddie at the minute but that is down to me, I haven’t been putting in the performances that warrant an England call.”

A switch to France would extinguish any forlorn hope that Harrison still retains for a Test level recall and Midi Olympique has reported that he is in “advanced discussion” about a move from the top flight in England to the French tier two. “Provence Rugby is keen to strengthen its package of forwards,” it reported. “According to our information, the Provencal club is in advanced discussions with two internationals.

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“The English back row Teimana Harrison, who is at the end of his contract with Northampton and has announced his departure, would have recently met with Provence. Second row Tevita Cavubati (34 years old, 30 selections) is also on the radar even if the Fijian is engaged until June 2023 with Perpignan.

“In addition, the Provencal club must soon formalise the constitution of its management for next season. There are in advanced contact with Stephane Glas and Julien Brugnaut, but other names continue to circulate (Rory Teague, Patrice Collazo etc), thus maintaining the suspense on the subject.”

Midi Olympique also mentioned a report from the UK that Semesa Rokoduguni is in “advanced contact with Montauban” about a move away from Bath following a decade-long stint there. The winger was apparently close to joining Beziers two years ago and a switch to Pro D2 would bring him close to Peni Rokoduguni, his younger brother, who has been playing for Colomiers since 2019.

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