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Mako Vunipola to join Top 14 newcomers Vannes in statement signing

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Newly promoted Top 14 outfit Vannes have announced the signing of former Saracens, England, and British & Irish Lions loosehead prop Mako Vunipola on a two-year deal, as reported by RugbyPass.

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A month after beating Grenoble in the Pro D2 play-off final, the club have upped their recruitment drive by landing the 79-cap England prop a day after signing winger Filipo Nakosi.

Saracens announced that the 33-year-old would end his 13-year association with the club at the end of the season in May, and while a move to France was expected, many originally predicted that he would join his brother Billy at Montpellier.

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After Montpellier maintained their status in the Top 14 with a 20-18 victory over Grenoble in the relegation play-off, next season will see the Vunipola’s go head-to-head instead.

That will not be the only encounter between former Saracens players that France’s top division will play host to next season, with Owen Farrell also set to join Racing 92.

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After his move from Saracens was announced, Vunipola said: “I’m grateful for everything this club has given me. I’ve grown up at this place and it will be forever in my heart. Thank you.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall added: “Few players change how their position is played. Mako’s all-around skillset, rugby intelligence and physicality made us – as coaches – rethink what’s possible from a loosehead prop.

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“Mako has achieved a phenomenal amount in the game; three Lions Tours, multiple England caps and being central to all Saracens has created.

“A good friend and dedicated family man, Mako will forever be a part of the Saracens family and we wish him, Alex, Jacob, Joshua and Grace the best for what’s ahead.”

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