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'I'll never forget': Laumape posts farewell Stade Francais message

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images)

Former All Blacks midfielder Ngani Laumape has posted his Parisian farewell message on social media after it was confirmed by Stade Francais that he had left the Top 14 club ahead of the 2022/23 season. It was May last year when it was announced that the 29-year-old had called time on his 15-cap New Zealand career after opting to take up a three-year in deal in France.

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However, the move hasn’t worked out as well as the centre imagined and he has now been linked with a switch to the Top League in Japan unless he is tempted back into the New Zealand Super Rugby fold by the NZR.

It was last week when Stade Francais owner Hans-Peter Wild admitted they were embracing the possibility of releasing Laumape from a deal that was agreed in 2021 after the Parisian club had lost France international Gael Fickou to city rivals Racing 92.

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“Ngani Laumape is training with us at the moment,” said the Stade Francais owner at the time. “But his family is having a little trouble adjusting to this huge city that is Paris and we have therefore recently studied the possibility of freeing the player. Whatever happens in the next few days, we will look at what the best option is for him, for his family and for the club.”

It has since been confirmed that Laumape has indeed exited Stade Francais, the club posting an official confirmation on its website that was followed by the ex-All Blacks player sharing his own thoughts about his departure on social media.

“Stade Francais Paris and its New Zealand international centre Ngani Laumape have agreed to put an end to their collaboration following the family adjustment difficulties that Ngani told us about,” explained the club’s official communique.

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“Arrived last summer from the Hurricanes franchise, Ngani played 22 games in the pink and blue jersey. The capital club thanks Ngani for this season and wishes him good luck for the rest of his career.”

Ngani later added his farewell message via his own social media: “Thank you Stade Francais for the opportunity. Got to meet some amazing people in my time in Paris which I’ll never forget. Merci, Stade Francais. Wish you guys all the best for the upcoming season.”

Ngani’s previous message on social media was last weekend when he pinned an old RugbyPass Instagram card to the top of his page. That message from last year, which pictured him celebrating a try for the Hurricanes, came with a quote in which he outlined his disappointment with the contract offered to him in 2021 by the NZR.

“I offer something in the midfield that no other midfielder can offer in New Zealand,” he said in the message, something he has highlighted again now that he is in the market for a new club after exiting Stade Francais.

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