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Toulon to trade Tolofua for potential Biggar replacement - report

By Josh Raisey
Toulon's French hooker Christopher Tolofua reacts to their defeat after the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 rugby union match between Northampton Saints and Toulon at Franklin's Gardens in Northampton, Central England on December 15, 2023. Northampton won the game 22-16. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP) (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Toulon are on the verge of making a midseason player exchange with Top 14 strugglers Montpellier, according to Midi Olympique

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France’s eight-cap hooker Christopher Tolofua, 30, will be traded for Montpellier and Italy fly-half Paolo Garbisi in the coming days, as Toulon seek to find a replacement for Dan Biggar.

The report says that the former Wales captain is struggling with a back injury, and may be forced to retire. Whether Biggar is forced to retire or not, this is forward thinking by the three-time European champions with the Italian being eleven years the junior of the Welshman, at the age of 23.

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Montpellier currently sit at the foot of the Top 14 table, having won the league in 2022, and eye Tolofua as a player who could immediately arrest their slump. With Louis Carbonel in the squad, they may see Garbisi as a player that can afford to let go, particularly as he will be committed to Italy over the coming weeks in the Guinness Six Nations.

Tolofua’s current deal with Toulon is set to expire at the end of the season, while the 31-cap Italian has another year-and-a-half left on his Montpellier deal, but Midi Olympique believe the negotiations are at a “very advanced stage”.

Both clubs return to the Top 14 this weekend after two rounds of European action, with Montpellier hosting Pau on Saturday and Toulon hosting reigning Champions Cup winners La Rochelle later that day.

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