With rugby in France beginning to pick up the pace again following the coronavirus cancellation of the 2019/20 season, Lyon have officially confirmed six new signings – including Izack Rodda – for the 2020/21 campaign which is due to start in September.

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At a media conference in the French city on Wednesday, president Yann Roubert presented the club’s recruits for the next season and formalised the signatures of Rodda (Reds) and Gillian Galan (Toulouse). The 23-year-old Australian second row (25 caps) and the 28-year-old Toulouse back row have each signed one-year contracts. 

Rodda was one of the three Reds’ contracts rebelsHarry Hockings and Isaac Lucas the other two – who last month ended their contracts with Rugby Australia after refusing to take pay cuts which resulted in the club initially standing them down from training before the contracts were terminated. 

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Rodda and Lucas were both contracted until 2023 while Hockings was off-contract but in talks for an extension. The three were the only players of the 192 Australian Super Rugby roster to refuse pay cuts ahead of the all-Australian tournament in July. 

Aside from the captures of Rodda and Galan, the identity of Lyon’s other signings were already previously known – the returns of Mathieu Bastareaud (Rugby United New York) and Leo Berdeu (Agen) as well as the arrivals of Colby Fainga’a (Connacht) and Joe Taufete’e (Worcester Warriors).

Pierre Mignoni’s side were lying in second place when the French season was halted in March, Lyon winning a dozen of their 17 outings and poised for a title at the championship title.  

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Elsewhere in the Top 14, Montpellier have confirmed the signing of second row Florian Verhaeghe from Toulouse for the next three seasons. Xavier Garbajosa said: “Flo is a very interesting young player who still has a lot of room for improvement.”

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