Guido Petti is set to become the latest Argentine to flee the Super Rugby Jaguares and he could be joined in next season’s Top 14 by Tomas Lavanini who has been at Leicester since the Pumas were eliminated from the 2019 World Cup.
With New Zealand and Australian teams having formulated in-country Super Rugby replacement tournaments due to the coronavirus, and South Africa reportedly set to do likewise, the future for the Buenos Aires-based Jaguares is increasingly looking bleak.
Coach Gonzalo Quesada has already taken up his old role at Stade Francais while Jaguares midfielder Jeronimo de la Fuente has revealed players at the franchise were told at the end of May by the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) that they are free to take up offers from overseas clubs to continue playing rugby.
That has left Petti, 25, being courted by various French clubs, with Bordeaux now touted by Midi Olympique to be in pole position to secure his signature.
Bordeaux president Laurent Marti said: “It is true that his profile interests us. We have only four second row players under contract for next season. We need five, but nothing is signed.”
As New Zealand, Australia and South Africa devise plans for what a post-coronavirus world looks like for their club sides, the Jaguares – and Argentine rugby – have been left in the realm of uncertainty.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 2, 2020
Meanwhile, Quesada’s recent return to Stade Francais has resulted in them being linked with securing Lavanini on the back of the current financial troubles at Leicester. The lock joined the Tigers last year after four seasons at the Jaguares, but the English club are set to report a loss of over £5million at the end of this month.
However, a possible complication for any Lavanini move to Stade is that when he left Racing in 2015 to return to Argentina he apparently agreed that the Jacky Lorenzetti-owned club would get the first refusal if the forward ever considered returning to the French league.
Red-carded at the World Cup versus England, the 27-year-old featured 13 times for the Tigers before the English season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Elsewhere in France, Australian second row Tom Murday has been released from the last year of his contract at Agen and will take up a role at an unnamed Japanese club in 2021. Long-serving Colomiers prop Damien Weber, who also had spells at Stade and Lyon, has retired at the age of 34 to focus on his butchery business.
“It spits out lots of people who couldn’t take it… it created an environment that if you weren’t that type of person, there was nowhere to go”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 12, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now