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Fissler Confidential: Jonny May's next club and Bok forced to retire

By Neil Fissler
Jonny May of England celebrates scoring during the Summer International match between England and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on August 26, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Former England winger Jonny May, who was announced this week as leaving Gloucester, is waiting to see which Pro D2 side gets promoted. This could spark another flood of players leaving the Gallagher Premiership for France this summer.

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News is reaching Fissler Confidential Towers that May is one of several players released by Premiership clubs who are waiting to see which clubs are promoted to the French top flight next season.

Provence finished top of the Pro D2 table with Vannes second. Beziers and Grenoble will host Brive and Dax in the opening round of the play-offs before the top two get involved, with only the champions guaranteed to be promoted. The losing finalist will play off with the second-from-bottom Top 14 side.

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Premiership champions Saracens are in talks with Montauban coach Florent Wieczorek about moving to North London as their scrum coach when he leaves the Pro D2 strugglers this summer.

It has been reported in France that Wieczorek, recognised in France for his technical expertise, is in advanced talks about joining Mark McCall’s coaching staff when Sarries report back for pre-season.

Ian Peel, the Saracens scrum guru, was a long-term target for England coach Steve Borthwick, but he appointed Tom Harrison from his former club Leicester Tigers to replace Richard Cockerill last June.

Sale Sharks are set to formally announce that they have re-signed Will Addison after it was revealed he was one of nine players leaving United Rugby Championship outfit Ulster at the end of the season.

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Irish-qualified Addison, 31, who left the Sharks in 2018 to move to Belfast, has made 15 of his 42 appearances this season after overcoming a series of serious injury problems that had threatened his career.

Fissler Confidential understands that Addison, who can play outside centre, full-back, and wing and has won five Ireland caps, has agreed to an initial one-year deal with the Sharks.

Former Sale tighthead Coenie Oosthuizen could be forced into retirement because of a serious neck injury, according to the latest reports in South Africa.

The 35-year-old ex-Springboks front-rower, who also plays loosehead, has made 12 appearances for the Durban-based Sharks this season but hasn’t played since a URC defeat against the Lions in March.

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Oosthuizen, who made 94 appearances in a four-year stint in the Premiership for Manchester-based Sale before leaving last summer and signing for the Durban outfit, has a history of neck problems which started with an injury in 2012.

Steve Diamond is set to return to Sale for a second time in a matter of weeks as he looks to strengthen his Premiership basement-dwelling Newcastle Falcons team for next season.

Diamond recently announced that he is linking up again with flanker Cam Neild, who only returned to the Sharks in February after being left without a club after stints with Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sharks outside centre Connor Doherty, who has played seven times this season, has now agreed to spend next season on loan at Kingston Park.

Exeter Chiefs are set to announce that former Sale lock Matt Postlethwaite will leave the club when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

Postlethwaite, 27, has only made limited appearances this season. He was an unused replacement against Glasgow Warriors in the Champions Cup, while he played three Premiership Cup games at the start of the campaign.

Welsh hooker Iestyn Harris, who had a spell on loan in the Championship with Cornish Pirates this season, will also leave as Rob Baxter seeks to have a much leaner squad at the club next season.

Exeter are set to hold off a bid from URC outfit Scarlets to keep Irish lock Jack Dunne at Sandy Park when his contract with the Premiership side runs out at the end of the season.

It was widely anticipated that former Leinster ace Dunne, 25, who has made 12 appearances for the Chiefs this season, would be joining his teammate loosehead Alec Hepburn in Wales.

RugbyPass understands that Dunne did travel to the Scarlets for talks but never sorted out a move. He is now set to commit himself to the Chiefs, where he has been playing since leaving Ireland in 2022.

Steve Lansdown, who became the Bristol Bears owner when the club was in major turmoil over a decade ago, is set to be named the joint-150th person in Britain when the Sunday Times Rich list is revealed.

According to the list, the Bristol-born 71-year-old, who also owns Championship football side Bristol City, co-founded the financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown from a bedroom in 1981 and now is worth £1.168bn.

Donald MacKenzie, one of CVC Capital Partners’ co-founders who owns stakes in the Premiership, URC, and the Guinness Six Nations, has a seven per cent stake in the firm worth £760m.

Waratahs scrum-half Jake Gordon has left the door open for a move to France in 12 months after Rugby Australia blocked his move to Top 14 outfit Perpignan.

The 30-year-old Wallaby international was wanted by Perpignan, but Rugby Australia insisted that he see out the final 12 months of his agreement. He diplomatically agreed that was “the right thing to do.”

“It’s not happening. What they said to me is basically, I need to honour my contract here. I’m staying here for the next 12 months, and I’m excited for that challenge too,” said Gordon, who joined the Tahs in 2017.

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finn 36 days ago

what’s happening to Ian Peel?

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