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Ex-Wallaby bad boy Tolu Latu officially switches Top 14 clubs

By Ian Cameron
Tolu Latu of the NSW Waratahs before the round four Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and NSW Waratahs at Sky Stadium, on March 17, 2023, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/Getty Images)

La Rochelle has announced the immediate loan signing of Australian hooker Tolu Latu from Montpellier, bolstering Ronan O’Gara’s side’s options in a position currently hit by injuries.

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Latu, 30, will provide much-needed cover for the injured Pierre Bourgarit and Quentin Lespiaucq, while also supporting the development of rookie hooker Sacha Idoumi.

Latu, who has featured in six Top 14 matches this season for Montpellier, while highly rated has also drawn attention for his indiscipline on and off the field.

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His track record includes a recent red card and several yellows. This issue of discipline has been a recurring theme throughout his career, including his previous stint at Stade Français.

During his time with Stade Français Latu made a significant impact, scoring six tries across 48 matches. However, his on positive contributions were often overshadowed by disciplinary interruptions, including eight yellow cards and two reds.

Stade Francais eventually lost patience with Latu in April of last year after he was handed an 11-match ban, and both he and the Parisian club parted ways.

He spent a truncated Super Rugby Pacific season with the Waratahs before returning to France with Montpellier at the start of this season.

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Off the field, Latu’s conduct has also been problematic. He has been caught drink-driving twice, once each in France and Australia.

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