Bordeaux Begles are no longer interested in Ireland and Munster No.8, CJ Stander, at least not according to reports from France.
This week former Dragons and Grenoble head coach Bernard Jackman revealed that the French club were talking with the Munsterman on the The42.ie. “I spoke to a French agent last week and he was of the opinion that CJ was going to Bordeaux — or that Bordeaux were making a serious play for him.”
“I don’t know any more than that but he’s a top player and Bordeaux are a great club. They’re very ambitious and I think they’re about to lose two eights from their current roster. I don’t know if he’s been talking to them or anything like that but, certainly, Bordeaux have a huge interest in CJ.”
It seems Bordeaux have now gone cold on the former Lions forward, with Yoan Leshauriès of Sud Ouest reporting that Stander’s wage expectations were too high for the club. Bordeaux are looking to replace Marco Tauleigne, who is switching to Montpellier.
It seems the high-flying Bordeaux are closing in on signing French legend Louis Picamoles, who French media have linked with the two parties in recent weeks.
The 34-year-old currently plays for struggling Montpellier. He made 82 Test appearances in an on-off relationship with various French head coaches over the span of 11 years between 2008 and 2019. At the tail end of his career, Picamoles would likely come at a significantly lower cost than the Irishman, who is four years his junior.
Les Damiers also interested in Racing 92 stand-off François Trinh-Duc. Also 34, he has 66 caps for France but hasn’t played for the national team since 2018. He’s been eyed as a back-up to current French star Mathieu Jailbert.
“Nothing has been signed, but these are two serious tracks [Picamoles and Trinh-Duc], ” President of Union Bordeaux Bègles, Laurent Marti told Sud Ouest.
Rumours of French clubs circling Stander were widespread in 2017, the last time Stander was at the negotiating table with David Nucifora, the IRFU’s notorious tough High Performance Director. Stander is facing strong competition for the Irish No.8 jersey, with Leinster’s Caelen Doris and Jack Conan snapping at his heels and the emergence of Gavin Coombes at Munster suggesting his negotiating position might not be as strong as in 2017.
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