Charlie Faumuina is attracting a good deal of interest.
Although Charlie Faumuina’s contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union is not set to expire until the end of the 2017/18 season, two Top 14 clubs are already battling it out to sign the monster tighthead.
Given Faumuina’s size and power, he is ideally suited to the Top 14, consequently it comes as little surprise to see both Toulouse and Clermont engage in a bidding war for the player.
Although Faumuina has spent much of his career behind Owen Franks in the All Black pecking order, his loss will still represent to blow to Steve Hansen.
Indeed, Hansen has used Faumuina to great effect from the bench, unleashing the 130 kg tighthead at tiring defences.
However, it is not just his size that troubles defenders, but his quick feet and soft hands, characteristics not associated with players of Faumuina’s size.
While All Black fans will no doubt be hoping that Faumuina will sign a new deal with the New Zealand Rugby Union, as both Toulouse and Clermont are desperate to replace ageing tightheads, Census Johnson and Davit Zirakashvili respectively, the NZRU face an uphill struggle.
In fact, French news site, BFM.tv, claim the NZRU have lost the battle to retain Faumuina, and that he will move to the Top 14 in 2017.
The only question remaining it seems, is with what club.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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