Backrow Rodrigo Bruni has become the latest Argentinian star to pick up a contract in Europe, with ProD2 side Vannes confirming that they have signed the forward mid-season.

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Bruni was part of the Pumas team that humbled the All Blacks in this year’s Tri Nations, recording a historic first win over the New Zealanders in Australia.

Vannes forward coach and former Pumas prop Esteban Devich was said to be pivotal in convincing the Argentinian to join the club, who finished eighth in last season’s competition and who have their eyes set on promotion to France top flight.

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The 6’1, 108kg forward played 15 matches with the now-defunct Jaguares and was part of team that fell to the Crusaders in the 2019 Super Rugby final.

Vannes manager, Jean-Noël Spitzer, said in a statement: “The Pro D2 is a long competition. At the middle of the championship, our players have already made a lot of efforts and in particular some of our leaders in the third row. With the competition resuming a reinforcement was envisaged, in second or third line, in order to reinforce the team during the winter and to reach the final stages with energy.

“Both with the Jaguares and the Pumas, Rodrigo Bruni has shown a high level of standing. The Jaguares’ momentary problematic situation made his coming possible. It is an opportunity and an incredible pride to welcome such a player to the club.

“I would like to thank Esteban Devich, former Argentinian pillar and RCV forwards coach, for facilitating the exchange to convince Rodrigo.

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“Rodrigo has shown, at the highest level in the world, his ability to carry the ball and to defend hard and intelligently. It is a versatile third line capable of joining our players in the position of number 8 or 6.”

A native of Tandil in Argentina, the 29-year-old played his junior rugby at UNCAS Rugby Club.

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