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Jordan Taufua exits Lyon with ambitious club reportedly lining him up

By Josh Raisey
Sa Jordan Taufua of Samoa poses for a portrait during the Samoa Rugby World Cup 2023 Squad photocall on September 05, 2023 in Montpellier, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Jordan Taufua has left Lyon after three-and-a-half years with the Top 14 club.

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Lyon announced on Monday that they had reached a mutual agreement with their former captain for his release.

French outlet Sud Ouest recently reported that newly promoted Pro D2 outfit Nice have already set their sights on the Samoa back row.

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The 32-year-old is in the crosshairs of new Nice president Jean-Baptiste Aldigé, who recently took over the club following his tenure with Biarritz. The Cote d’Azur outfit topped the Nationale last season to book their place in France’s second division next season, and could be boosted by the arrival of Taufua.

Having guided Lyon to Challenge Cup success in 2022, Lyon president Yann Roubert praised the former Crusaders and Leicester Tigers No8 for making history with the club.

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“Jordan will have marked the history of Lyon thanks to his leadership, his energy, his talent and the wonderful memories shared together,” he said. “He will forever remain an ambassador of Lyon.”

Taufua wrote on his Instagram account on Sunday: “Unfortunately my time at Lyon has come sooner than planned, but I would like to thank all the supporters for the past 3 seasons. I have enjoyed my time here at the club and one I will forever remember.

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“To my teammates gutted I couldn’t run out with you one last time but grateful to have been your captain and work with you all. Good luck in the upcoming season.

“Looking forward to my next adventure.”

 

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A post shared by Sa Jordan Taufua (@taufooz)

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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