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Steffon Armitage on the move and England international set to join him in France

By Liam Heagney
Steffon Armitage is leaving Pau for a stint in the MLR (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

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One of the most talked about England players who didn’t get selected for the 2015 World Cup could be on the move in the French Top 14 next summer.


Steffon Armitage was a hot topic in the lead-up to last finals where pool stage elimination cost Stuart Lancaster and his assistants their jobs as England management.

Many felt the flanker, equipped with enviable ball-stealing skills at the breakdown, should have been included in the World Cup squad even though at the time he was playing his club rugby for three-in-a-row European champions Toulon.

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Lancaster refused to amend the RFU’s no-overseas players selection policy and although he went on to lose his job in December 2015, the snub resulted in Armitage opting to continue his career in France when his contract next came up for renewal.

He swapped Toulon for Pau in summer 2016. However, with Simon Mannix’s team now struggling in the Top 14, Armitage has apparently held talks about the possibility of moving to Bordeaux.

The 32-year-old, who made his comeback in November following a serious Achilles injury in a Challenge Cup semi-final loss at Cardiff last April, is reported to have met with incoming Bordeaux boss Christophe Urios, the current Castres coach.


Meanwhile Kieran Brookes, one of the players included in Lancaster’s ill-fated 2015 England squad, could join Armitage on the Top 14 scene.

The former Northampton tighthead’s CV had recently been doing the rounds among a number of French top flight clubs. He joined Wasps at the beginning of the season after 73 appearances for the Saints.

Brookes, who has 16 England caps to his name, is rated as the 13th best tighthead in the Premiership according to the RugbyPass Index, with an RPI of 69.

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