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Inter-club row brewing over Josua Tuisova

By Ian Cameron
Josua Tuisova of Lyon during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool A match between Saracens and Lyon at StoneX Stadium on January 14, 2023 in Barnet, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Fijian centre Josua Tuisova has become the subject of an alleged tug-of-war between French rugby clubs, with a previously flagged move to Racing 92 now in doubt.

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According to Rugbyrama and Midi Olympique, the powerful winger had signed a pre-contract with the Parisian Top 14 club for next year, but reports suggest that he is now reconsidering his decision.

Tuisova has gained a reputation as one of the most destructive players in world rugby, with his powerful runs and physicality making him a standout performer for Lyon, who he signed for in 2019. Racing 92 are understandably eager to sign the 5’11, 113kg back, with the prospect of him joining a team already boasting world-class talent an understandably enticing one for their coaching ticket.

However, Tuisova and his advisers are said to be weighing up their options, even with the possibility of a six-figure sum being owed to Racing 92 if he reneges on the deal. The Fijian centre is reportedly considering offers from other clubs, including staying at Lyon where he has proved such a valuable attacking weapon.

If a club other than Racing does sign him, they’ll likely be forced to stump compensation to the Parisian giants.

The uncertainty surrounding Tuisova’s future comes at a time of change for Racing 92, with the club set to welcome former England coach Stuart Lancaster as their new head coach. Lancaster will undoubtedly be eager to have a player of Tuisova’s calibre in his squad, as he looks to build a team capable of challenging for silverware.

For Tuisova, the decision on his future will be a difficult one, as he weighs up the potential financial implications of breaking his contract with Racing 92 against the prospect of playing for a club he’s potentially familiar with where he can continue to showcase his skills and develop as a player.

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One thing is certain – Tuisova’s future will be closely watched by rugby fans and pundits alike, as the battle for his signature continues to unfold.

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Jon 57 minutes ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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