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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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'Since I became a coach, I had never seen that. I call that class'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Romain Perrocheau/AFP via Getty Images)

Bordeaux boss Christophe Urios has hailed the immediate impact of their Congolese signing Madosh Tambwe, revealing that the two-try Top 14 debut try-scorer was so keen to come to France that he even paid part of his transfer from the URC Bulls. It was 2021 when the electric winger switched to the Pretoria-based franchise after originally making his Super Rugby breakthrough at the Lions and then with the Sharks.

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The 25-year-old was still contracted by the Bulls when Bordeaux then expressed an interest in signing him earlier this year. However, their initial approach stalled when it emerged that Tambwe would have to be bought out of the remainder of his contract in South Africa.

Tambwe, though, was nothing but determined to secure his move to France and after visiting Bordeaux in April, he elected to pay part of the contract buy-out fee to free himself from the Bulls and switch to the Top 14.

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He debuted last Sunday night versus Toulouse and left Bordeaux fans in raptures by scoring two first-half tries in a five-minute purple patch. Now, club boss Arios has joined in the chorus of approval for his new signing, singing the praises of the French league newcomer in an interview on rugbyrama.fr.

Asked for his thoughts on Tambwe, Bordeaux boss Urios said: “I’ll tell you something very simple. He was still under contract with the Bulls when we became interested in him, when we thought he had the profile for our team and a spectacular style that would appeal to our fans.

“We saw that he really wanted to come to Bordeaux, but he was under contract with the Bulls. Then he came to see us in April and we realised that he was a nice person, but where it jumped out at us was that when we learned of the proposed financial deal to release him from his contract, we said we couldn’t take it.

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“And there Madosh said he would take part of this indemnity at his expense. Since I became a coach, I had never seen that. This shows you the sense of commitment, the collective sense and the simplicity of this man. He absolutely wanted to come to Bordeaux, I call that class.”

Could Tambwe have become a Springboks player if he was South African rather than Congolese? “I don’t know, they have good wingers there,” continued Arios. “But Madosh scores, he goes fast, he is reliable. He would have been in the squad, but I don’t know the depth of the squad in that position. But he was playing in a pretty strong team [the Bulls], right?

“He speaks a little French but finds it difficult to express himself in front of everyone quickly. On the other hand, in individual interviews, there is no problem. In general, he is a pearl, a positive boy.”

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