Saili, Wade, Lancaster… Racing on all fronts

Saili, Wade, Lancaster... Racing on all fronts

Between the obligation to reinforce the squad as soon as possible, the reflection made on the three-quarter line in the future and the desire to change governance, the 92 club is at the center of the news.

Inevitably, the announcement of Virimi Vakatawa’s career break in France was brutal for everyone (see page 34). And he put his director of rugby Laurent Travers and his chairman Jacky Lorenzetti in an awkward sporting situation, as the three-quarter international center was an important element of the Ile-de-France workforce.

Above all, they had to react urgently and very quickly contacted the president of Biarritz, Jean-Baptiste Aldigé, to discuss the Francis Saili situation. The all black centre-back (31 years old; 2 selections), who arrived at the BOPB in 2020, had clearly expressed his desire to leave in recent months. The Union Bordeaux-Bègles and especially the French Stadium had shown interest but no agreement had been reached. In fact, the player had a contract with the Basque club until 2024 and his president claimed compensation estimated at 400,000 euros to release him. It was he, in person, who revealed on Tuesday that the discussions quickly ended with the leaders of Racing 92 and that Saili was going to commit to Ciel et Blancs. He will numerically replace Vakatawa on the roster.

A second reinforcement for the attack line in a few days since, as indicated in On Monday, English winger Christian Wade (31 years old, 1st selection) will also join the group. The man with 99 attempts with the Wasps, who ended his rugby career in 2018 to join the NFL club Buffalo Bills, had expressed a desire to return to rugby. As a result, the trail leading to Scotland international Duhan Van der Merwe (27, 18 caps) has been buried. What do Saili and Wade have in common? Both would have only signed up for one season. This is no accident, as a reflection is currently taking place in the Hauts-de-Seine on the three-quarter line.

Habosi is coming, the Tuisova hypothesis

Finn Russell, Olivier Klemenzack, Louis Dupichot, Ben Volovola and Donovan Taofifenua will end their contracts in June 2023. After several twists and turns, Fijian winger from Mont-de-Marsan Wame Naituvi (26), considered a Pro bomb D2, It will be Ser Racingman well next season. He should be joined by another compatriot in the same position, Vinaya Habosi (22) who is coming off a magnificent run with Fijian Drua in Super Rugby. Announced in these columns, contacts with Jacky Lorenzetti’s club would be very advanced and on the verge of success. At the same time, the interest shown by Clermontois Damian Penaud (25 years old; 34 selections) – whose commitment to Marcel-Michelin also ends next June – is no secret. The Blues winger recently confessed that his future is “a little blurry”. And another of the best attackers in the Top 14 would also be in Racing 92’s sights. This is the Fijian international Josua Tuisova (28 years old; 16 caps), who will also be at the end of his contract in June with Lyon. Capable of playing on the wing or in the centre, the former Toulonnais should not be short of requests before making the choice for him. According to our information, decision-makers in Montpellier would also be closely monitoring his case.

Lancaster, is making progress

Finally, Jacky Lorenzetti continues with his work regarding the governance of the club. Thus, he has never hidden his desire to “deliver” and, in the twilight of the 2022-2023 season, Laurent Travers, at the head of the Racing 92 sports project for nine years, should step back from the field and probably become president. of the board of directors of the Hauts-de-Seine stable. Lorenzetti assuming for his part the function of “president of the surveillance council”. Therefore, the issue of the succession of the current general manager of rugby is at the center of concerns. For long weeks, the name of the Englishman Stuart Lancaster has been sounding insistently. Former coach of the XV de la Rose and considered one of the most advanced coaches on the old continent, his work at the helm of Leinster since 2016 is recognized (he won the Champions Cup in 2018). According to our information, the file has advanced a lot lately and the hypothesis of seeing Lancaster at the head of the Racing squad during the next season has gained even more weight.

#Saili #Wade #Lancaster.. #Racing #fronts

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