Former England fullback Nick Abendanon to stay in France after signing for ProD2 side
Former England fullback Nick Abendanon will be staying in France after all, with official confirmation of a two-year deal being revealed this evening. Abendanon was released by Clermont earlier this year and despite a decorated career in the Top 14, was struggling to find a home.
Set to turn 34 in August, the twice-capped England player had been left in limbo due to the Covid-19 pandemic calling a halt to the Top 14 season in France and stalling the recruitment process for next season.
He had been linked with a move back to the Premiership with Bath and possibly London Irish, however, it ProD2 side Vannes have secured his signature.
Abendanon was even considering retirement. He told RugbyPass in mid-April that retirement was looking increasingly on the horizon. “In my mind now, that’s what is happening, it’s the end,” he said last month. “I’ve still got the desire and the motivation to play. So if I was forced to retire because of the pandemic, but still hungry, it would be a shame because something that is uncontrollable has forced my hand.”
Clermont informed Abendanon in October they would not be keeping him on. There was fleeting interest from Grenoble and the Pro D2, but the second tier didn’t appeal. There was even talk of an offer from San Diego Legion in America’s fledgeling professional league, but that didn’t materialise.
So desperate has he been that he even he longed for a return to Bath, his hometown club where he dazzled for the thick end of a decade. “I tried to get the Bath flame going and potentially go back there for a year,” he revealed. “I know the owner Bruce Craig and Stuart Hooper, the director of rugby, and it’s where I’m from.
“But for them, they have got some young guys coming through who deserve a chance and Tom Homer is there playing pretty good rugby at the moment so that one fizzled out pretty quickly as well. Apart from that, there hasn’t really been anything else.”
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What a great read. Players mature at different stages and words that may inspire some are far too cutting for others. Good coaches are so important to the career of young players. The ability to get into a player's head is a gift. But in the wrong hands this can be a disaster. There is so much emotional stuff going on with young players that it takes a really good coach to bring the best from them and inspire them to be the best they can be playing rugby and importantly the best person they can be as a person.Go to comments
Interesting read Nick, thanks. Is it a reality check for incomings and outgoings for the English clubs over money? a market correction? This is always a strange thing when it comes to what is still fundamentally recreation, a leisure pursuit. You could have the two divisions but the 2nd division will lose interest for the top flight of players. Maybe a random draw to create two pools that would lead to a play-off system? Have not thought it through but throwing it out there.Go to comments