Former All Blacks standoff Tom Taylor has been sensationally sacked by Top 14 side Pau, for going AWOL from the club during the lockdown. The club claim that Taylor had left France, despite being asked to be available for duty at any given stage during the lockdown.

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A statement from Pau reads: “On March 17, 2020, the club noted that Mr. Tom Taylor had left the national territory without any prior authorization from his employer even though all players were asked to remain at the disposal of the club and to respect government measures in as part of the fight against Covid-19.

“This personal decision, contrary to all the instructions that had been given by the club since March 13, is all the more illegitimate since it was not justified. He put the team and all the staff in the most complete disarray since there was then no information on the dates on which the championship could resume and it was therefore necessary that the players were all immediately available in the event of a resumption of activity, which all his teammates understood and respected.

“The Section regrets this behavior on the part of his player that goes against the club’s values, team spirit and basic ethics.

“During the preparation of the 19/20 season, the club had voluntarily put in place rules of life, committing to respect moral values and to demonstrate exemplary behavior on and off the field.

“Faced with these materially established facts, the club had no other recourse than to initiate a dismissal procedure against Mr. Tom Taylor.

“The club will not comment on this at this time.”

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Taylor was capped three times for the All Blacks. He left New Zealand in 2015 to play for Toulon, before moving to Pau in 2016. Prior to France, he earned 58 caps for the Crusaders between 2012 and 2015.

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