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Racing 92 swoop for 6'8, 130kg Veikoso Poloniati - report

By Ian Cameron
Veikoso Poloniati of Moana Pasifika is tackled during the round 11 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Moana Pasifika at AAMI Park on April 30, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Racing 92 seems to have apparently successfully lured another massive body to Paris, in the shape of New Zealand born second row Veikoso Poloniati.

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According to Midi Olympique, the 6’8, 130kg giant is set to pen a two year deal to join the Parisians. Poloniati has just come off season playing in the inaugrual Super Rugby Pacific competition for Moana Pasifika.

Prior to Moana Pasifika, Poloniati played for Manawatu. He is yet to be capped by Tonga, but has been named in the squad for the PNC. Should he join Racing he will link up with the likes of Namibian Anton Bresler and French internationals Boris Palu and Baptiste Pesenti in the second row. Veteran lock Yoann Maestri is retiring.

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Castres Action Hero Tom Staniforth | Le Frecnh Rugby Podcast | Episode 33

After a frenetic final weekend in the Top 14 regular season, we catch up with one of the key men from surprise table-toppers Castres and the top tackler in the Top 14 this season. Australian second row Tom Staniforth fills us in on his journey from Canberra to Castres, the family environment at the club, how a bunch of battlers go about beating off competition from a host of teams with much bigger budgets over 26 rounds and gives us an insight into what makes a club that often goes under the radar so special. There’s also a look into everything that happened on the final day, a look ahead to the Barrages and we pick our MEATER Moment of the Week…
Use the code FRENCHPOD20 at checkout for 20% off any full price item at Meater.com

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Castres Action Hero Tom Staniforth | Le Frecnh Rugby Podcast | Episode 33

After a frenetic final weekend in the Top 14 regular season, we catch up with one of the key men from surprise table-toppers Castres and the top tackler in the Top 14 this season. Australian second row Tom Staniforth fills us in on his journey from Canberra to Castres, the family environment at the club, how a bunch of battlers go about beating off competition from a host of teams with much bigger budgets over 26 rounds and gives us an insight into what makes a club that often goes under the radar so special. There’s also a look into everything that happened on the final day, a look ahead to the Barrages and we pick our MEATER Moment of the Week…
Use the code FRENCHPOD20 at checkout for 20% off any full price item at Meater.com

According to Midi, Toulouse were also looking at him as a potential replacement for 6’10, 120kg  Wallaby Rory Arnold, who is off to Japan.

If he does move, his will be the latest in the continuing fashion for signing outsized southern hemisphere second rows for the Top 14. Toulouse have had great success with 6’8, 145kg Emmanuel Meafou, who was overlooked by Super Rugby’s Melbourne Rebels, while South African born Paul Willemse is arguably the league’s premier second row.

Will Skelton (6’8, 145kg), who had fallen out of favour with Wallaby selectors, has also been pulling up trees since moving to Europe with Saracens and latterly La Rochelle.

All follow in the footsteps of mammoth French internationals Romain Taofifénua and Sebastien Vahaamahina before them.

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J
Jon 29 minutes ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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