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Son of Romania legend wanted by 3 French clubs

Taylor Gontineac of Romania looks on during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between South Africa and Romania at Stade de Bordeaux on September 17, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Hans van der Valk/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Taylor Gontineac has left now-relegated Pro D2 side Rouen Normandie and is currently pondering his next step, as three clubs are lining up the talented Romanian centre.

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The 23-year-old came through the youth ranks at Aurillac and ASM Clermont, before moving to Rouen Normandie to play his first game as a senior player, being integral to keeping the club afloat in the Pro D2.

In 2019 he made his Test debut, but his breakthrough season for the Oaks only came in 2023, scoring six tries in that year’s Men’s Rugby Europe Championship.

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He was then called up for the Rugby World Cup, coming in as a sub against Ireland and starting in the next match, playing the full 80 minutes against the Springboks. Gontineac has amassed fourteen caps and seven tries since 2019.

Agen and AS Béziers-Hérault are currently looking to reinforce their backline, as former Saracens and Harlequins centre Harry Sloan and Maxime Espeut are leaving at the end of the season.

Grenoble have already hired centres Yan Lestrade (Bayonne) and Gerswin Mouton (Tel-Aviv Heat), but the club is floating the idea of adding Gontineac’s talent to their roster, as they are eyeing a Top 14 promotion in 2024/2025.

No decision has been made, as the season for AS Béziers-Hérault and FC Grenoble is not over – both sides are qualified for the Pro D2 knockout stage – and new signings will only be announced after its conclusion. The next couple of weeks will be decisive for what is next for one of Romania’s star players.

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Taylor Gontineac is the eldest son of Romanian legend Romeo Gontineac, who stared for his country in four Rugby World Cups and enjoyed a top level senior career for the South-African SWD Eagles and French clubs FC Grenoble, Section Paloise, and Stade Aurillacois.

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