Toulon pull the plug on their short-term deal with Jake Gordon
Out-of-favour Wallabies scrum-half Jake Gordon won’t play for Toulon in the Top 14 as World Cup cover after he failed a medical at the French club. Despite featuring for his country on their Autumn Nations Series tour last November, Gordon has been excluded since Eddie Jones succeeded Dave Rennie as head coach.
That situation resulted in him seeking out a short-term deal for the start of the 2023/24 French season to keep him ticking along ahead of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season with the Waratahs, with whom he has agreed a contract extension through to the end of the 2025 campaign.
The franchise had given the 30-year-old permission to go to France for a short spell as World Cup cover at Toulon, but that deal has now fallen through after a concussion that requires a four-to-eight-week recovery.
A social media message posted by the club read: “Jake Gordon will not be for Toulon. Arrived last week on the Rade, the Australian failed the medical and finally doesn’t sign with the RCT.” A media briefing video was attached that showed coach Pierre Mignoni explaining what had happened.
“It’s a fairly significant concussion which cannot allow him to assume his role as World Cup cover,” said Mignoni. “Unfortunately, he has between four to eight weeks (out). His career is not in question, but he is not able to be on the pitch immediately.”
The services of Gordon had been snapped up on a temporary basis as Baptiste Serin and new signing Ben White are respectively away with France and Scotland preparing for the World Cup, which starts on September 8.
Gordon had trained with the Toulon group for a few days before joining the Australia A team for their recent friendly versus Tonga in Nuku’alofa. He started that match in a half-back combination with Bernard Foley but he suffered a head injury that has now ruled him out of playing for Toulon in the French season that starts on August 19.
“It’s a shame because we discovered a very endearing personality but the collaboration cannot be done,” added Mignoni. “We are looking for someone available now. It is not easy, but we will find.”
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