Veteran French No.8 Louis Picamoles will leave Montpellier at the end of the season to link up with high-flying Bordeaux Begles, it is being widely reported in France.

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According to French media, Picamoles understood that Montpellier were not particularly eager to keep on the back row at the end of the season, leaving the 34-year-old searching for a new challenge in the autumn of his career.

Bordeaux are set to lose back rows Marco Tauleigne and Beka Gorgodze, and head coach Christophe Urios was looking for a high-quality replacement, and Picamoles is certainly that.

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Picamoles made 82 Test appearances in an on-off relationship with various French head coaches over the span of 11 years between 2008 and 2019. The 6’4, 116kg Parisian started his professional career in the MHR academy before becoming a talisman for the Toulouse packs of the early to mid-noughties.

He signed for Northampton Saints in 2016, and despite performing well for the English side, was bought out of his contract by Montpellier in 2017, and he departed mid-season.

His signing also effectively ends the link between Bordeaux and Munster No.8 CJ Stander. Stander had been linked to the Top 14 outfit, but were said to have gone cold on the Munsterman who – according to the French press – wanted too much money.

The Ireland stalwart is currently negotiating his contract with the IRFU.

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