Stuart Olding has finally confirmed his new club after a reported move to Sale Sharks collapsed.
He has signed a two-year deal with French club Brive, who will be in the second tier of French rugby next season.
The former Ulster man has been looking for a new club since Ulster and the IRFU terminated his contract following the high-profile court case surrounding him and provincial and international teammate Paddy Jackson.
The pair had believed to have been close to signing with Sale in the Premiership, but there was a significant backlash from fans and sponsors alike and neither deal went ahead.
Rumours over his signing ramped up after local newspaper Midi Olympique reported that Olding has visited the facilities at Brive and is on very good terms with incoming coach Jeremy Davidson.
A statement on the club website said:
“Stuart Olding, 25, started his career as a professional player at Ulster in 2011. Selected with the U-20s from Ireland to play in a World Cup and a 6 Nations Tournament, he then has four selections with the (senior) XV of Ireland. Versatile player, he evolves in the centre and can also cover the back. He will continue his career in Brive for the next two seasons.”
Vous les attendiez, voici les deux premières recrues du CA Brive pour la saison 2018 / 2019 !
— CABCLRUGBY (@CABCLRUGBY) May 28, 2018
Davidson is a former Ulster second-row who has spent the last seven years in France and has impressed in coaching roles with both Aurillac and Bordeaux. It was announced earlier this month that Davidson would take charge at Brive for the 2018/19 season, signing a three-year contract with the now Pro D2 club.
With Davidson’s Belfast connection and at least one season to be spent down in the Pro D2 and away from the media spotlight, is likely to have helped Olding make the decision.
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