Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Fissler Confidential: Ulster keen on NZ 10 as Shark departs English shores

By Neil Fissler
Hurricanes' Aidan Morgan (Photo by Pita Simpson/Getty Images)

Ulster have been talking with Hurricanes’ ex-New Zealand U20s international Aidan Morgan after Aaron Cruden recently rebuffed them in their quest for a new fly-half.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 22-year-old Irish-qualified Morgan has struggled to get a game for the Hurricanes this season, with All Black Brett Cameron establishing himself as the first-choice No10 and Ruben Love able to cover full-back and fly-half.

As a result, Morgan has only made two appearances this season and has been speaking to Ulster about replacing Billy Burns, who is heading to Munster on a one-year deal.

Video Spacer

Pieter-Steph du Toit with Big Jim – Teaser trailer | RPTV

Double World Cup winning Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit hosts Jim Hamilton in Japan for an all-encompassing chat about the Rugby World Cup, horrific injuries and Chasing the Sun 2. Watch the full chat on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

Video Spacer

Pieter-Steph du Toit with Big Jim – Teaser trailer | RPTV

Double World Cup winning Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit hosts Jim Hamilton in Japan for an all-encompassing chat about the Rugby World Cup, horrific injuries and Chasing the Sun 2. Watch the full chat on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

Former Sale Sharks ballboy Sam James, who scored a try in his last home appearance for the club on Friday night, is heading to France following his release from the club.

Outside centre James, 29, who has also played inside centre, fly-half and full-back for his boyhood club was in tears after winning the man of the match award against Leicester Tigers.

After playing almost 250 games for the Sharks, he has been speaking to Pau, who are ninth in the Top 14 table. At least one other club is keen to have contract talks with him now that his departure has been announced.

Former Leicester back row Marco van Staden is staying in South Africa for another three years after signing a long-term contract extension with the Bulls.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 28-year-old blindside flanker, who returned to Loftus in 2022 after an injury-ravaged season with the Tigers when he only made eight appearances, will be under contract until June 2027.

The Rugby World Cup winner has made 11 starts for the Bulls this season in the United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup, scoring one try in Lyon. He has joined David Kriel, Johan Grobbelaar, and Ruan Vermaak in extending their contracts.

Agen fly-half Thomas Vincent, who has clocked up over 200 points in 21 games this season, is leaving the Pro D2 side when his contract runs out and has agreed on a deal to join Top 14 strugglers Montpellier.

The 24-year-old, who had an 11-minute French U20s career in 2019, is in his second stint with Agen, who are 12th in the Pro D2 table after spending a season at Aurillac.

ADVERTISEMENT

He will be the 12th new player signed by Montpellier for next season, but for which division isn’t certain as they haven’t been able to escape 13th place with games running out.

Exeter Chiefs found out that lightning does strike twice for the second year running after missing out on signing Queensland Reds centre Hunter Paisami at the very last minute earlier in the week.

The Chiefs thought they had snatched the Wallabies international after arranging a medical, but Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh’s late intervention saw the player sacrifice £53,000 and instead sign a two-year extension.

Exeter also thought they had secured Guy Pepper from Newcastle Falcons last season before he changed his mind, while Rob Baxter admitted he didn’t see Georgian loosehead Nika Abuladze leaving for Montpellier until it happened.

The Australian transfer market appears to be attempting to catch fire with the Waratahs losing their 24-year-old playmaker Will Harrison to Japan on a two-year contract later this year.

But Perpignan’s bid to lure Wallaby scrum-half Jake Gordon away from the Tahs looks doomed to failure with Rugby Australia appearing unwilling to release him from the final year of his contract.

Melbourne Rebels tighthead Taniela Tupou’s move to Leinster was blocked and sources in France say that even though his name is doing the rounds, a move to Montpellier seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Leinster were blocked from signing Tupou, Finlay Bealham, and Tom O’Toole, but could they have an unlikely saviour at tighthead after veteran Ireland prop Cian Healy signed a new contract?

Healy, who turns 37 later this year, has spent the whole of his career at loosehead but can play on the opposite side at a push which could dig Leinster out of a hole.

The last time he started with the No3 shirt was against Munster in December 2022. He played 59 minutes of the 20-19 win at Thomond Park before being replaced by Vakh Abdaladze.

Whispers are reaching Fissler Confidential towers this week that Newcastle boss Steve Diamond looks set to return to his favourite honeyhole to recruit players for next season.

Ace wheeler-dealer Diamond was known to love a South African during his time with Sale and has already landed Luan de Bruin from Edinburgh for next season.

We have been told that Diamond is looking for another prop and a back-rower to take to the North-East to stamp his mark on the Falcons squad.

Former Biarritz centre Shaun Hegarty looks set to be named as the new chairman of the Pro D2 strugglers after presenting a business plan to the rugby regulatory authorities in France last week.

The 40-year-old Kiwi, who also played for Bayonne, Narbonne, and Bidart, helped Biarritz win back-to-back French titles in 2005 and 2006 and is fronting the takeover along former Springbok Flip van der Merwe.

Hegarty has a French-Basque mother and an Irish-New Zealander father and runs an events travel business. He has however remained tight-lipped about who is supplying the finance for the deal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE
FEATURE Tom Dunn: ‘Bath was a massive ship facing the wrong way.' Tom Dunn: ‘Bath was a massive ship facing the wrong way.'
Search