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Five Massive Southern Hemisphere Stars Who Could Yet Join European Clubs

European clubs have been busy signing some Super Rugby’s biggest names.

With the northern hemisphere season drawing to a close, European clubs are already building their squads ahead of the start of the 2016/17 season.

In recent weeks we have seen Kurtely Beale, Liam Gill and  Marcell Coetzee join Wasps, Toulon and Ulster respectively. Not only that, but a number of Top 14 and Premiership clubs have been linked with one of the biggest stars of the game, Sonny Bill Williams.

While Super Rugby chiefs worry about the amount of talent heading north, European rugby fans are excited at the prospect of seeing some of the game’s biggest names in action.

1. Sonny Bill Williams

during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.

At the conclusion of the World Cup, it almost seemed inevitable that Sonny Bill Williams would join Toulon.

However, despite persistent rumours linking him with a move to the Stade Mayol, it now seems that the three time European Champions have missed out on the centre.

Indeed, in recent weeks, Williams has been linked with Montpellier, Racing 92, while the Sydney Morning Herald have reported that a number of Premiership clubs have offered the double World Cup winner lucrative contracts.

2. Vincent Koch

Super Rugby Rd 7 - Stormers v Sunwolves

Although Saracens, Toulon and Munster are all rumoured to be interested in signing Springbok tighthead, Vicent Koch, he has not yet signed for a European club.

This would seem a little strange, particularly as Koch’s agent told Sport 24 that the South African international ‘won’t be staying in the Cape’ next season.

3. Beauden Barrett

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 27:  Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes offloads  during the Super Rugby Semi Final match between the Hurricanes and the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium on June 27, 2015 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

In the immediate aftermath of the World Cup, Midi Olympique claimed that both Toulon and Toulouse were interested in signing Beauden Barrett this summer.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that Barrett is out of the contract this summer, little has since been reported.

This would seem a little strange, as some would rank Barrett as the All Blacks fourth choice fly half behind, Aaron Cruden, Lima Sopoaga and Damian McKenzie.

4. Quade Cooper

MENDOZA, ARGENTINA - JULY 25: Quade Cooper of Australia fights for the ball with Facundo Isa of Argentina during a match between Australia and Argentina as part of The Rugby Championship 2015 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas on July 25, 2015 in Mendoza, Argentina. (Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images)

After a poor debut season with Toulon, Quade Cooper is set to be released by the French giants this summer. While Cooper has his critics, he remains an extremely talented player.

As a result, it was little surprise to read in The Guardian that a number of Premiership clubs were interested in signing Cooper.

Although the Queensland Reds look favourites to land the playmaker, he will continue to interest European clubs.

5. Charlie Faumuina

Super Rugby Rd 4 - Reds v Blues

Although Charlie Faumuina has a year to run on his contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union, he has already let it be known that he wants to play in Europe.

Therefore, it was little surprise to see the tighthead being linked with moves to Toulouse and Clermont this week.

The report carrying the news suggested that both Toulouse and Clermont were desperate to sign Faumuina, as Census Johnson and Davit Zirakashvili are coming toward the end of their respective careers.

Therefore raising the prospect of either club buying out the remainder of Faumuina’s contract.

Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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Author: The PA Team

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