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Toulon president confirms signing of England duo

By Neil Fissler
Kyle Sinckler of England celebrates with fans after the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between England and Japan at Stade de Nice on September 17, 2023 in Nice, France. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre has confirmed that England internationals Kyle Sinckler and Lewis Ludlam have signed three-year deals to move to the Cote d’Azur this summer.

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Lemaitre told AFP that the deals, which were one of the worst-kept secrets on both sides of the English Channel after both players were given guided tours of the club facilities during the Rugby World Cup, are done.

The switch to the Top 14 will leave the pair ineligible for England selection.

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England Women’s coach John Mitchell on the Red Roses squad

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England Women’s coach John Mitchell on the Red Roses squad

Bristol Bears tighthead Sinckler, 31, who won 68 international caps, was a shock admission from England’s recent Guinness Six Nations campaign, a clear sign that Steve Borthwick was moving on and looking at other options.

Meanwhile, Northampton Saints revealed last month that Ludlam, 28 – who was also dumped by Borthwick – was leaving Franklin’s Gardens after he turned down the new deal that the Gallagher Premiership club had put on the table.

Toulon, the three-time Champions Cup winners, were persuaded to move for the duo after being impressed with another import from the Premiership, Dave Ribbans, who joined following the World Cup.

“They are two good signings who will complete our forward pack for many years,” said Lemaitre. “They respond to the profiles we are looking for in our recruitment.

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“We are trying to have higher expectations on mentality, behaviour and lifestyle of players like this impressive compatriot Dave Ribbans.”

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2 Comments
f
finn 117 days ago

Sinckler is a really big loss for English rugby.

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