Chabal to turn out for Balmain?
February 14, 2012
Sebastien Chabal's next port of call is still ambiguous © Getty Images
Australia's Super Rugby franchises have distanced themselves from reports Sebastien Chabal is set to take his bow in the Southern Hemisphere competition.
The French No.8 announced on Tuesday that he was to continue his rugby career in Australia after departing from Racing Metro, but reports in the Sydney Morning Herald claim that Chabal looks likely to be turning out for Balmain in Sydney's second division suburban competition rather than on the premier Southern Hemisphere stage.
Chabal told French radio station RMC on Tuesday: ''I will tell you a little secret, I will play in Australia soon. That's all I can tell you today. For now, no more information. Neither the identity of a club, or duration of contract or even the nature of the championship.''
While reports suggested Chabal would turn out in Super Rugby, Balmain president Warren Livingstone suggested he had recruited the former Racing Metro and Sale man saying: ''We looked for the biggest profile player in the world and that's Chabal.'
"We contacted them [Racing Metro} in December about him coming over to play some games in between when the French season finished and when the new one started. I sold him on seeing Australia in between the games."
The Australian Super Rugby franchises have all distanced themselves from Chabal with Reds boss Ewen McKenzie denying having signed the back-row on Twitter and Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan telling the newspaper that he had not secured the former Sale man.
A spokesman for the Western Force also claimed that they had not signed Chabal while the Waratahs have already filled their quota of overseas players with Sarel Pretorious. And the Rebels also stated on their Twitter account that supporters should not believe the rumours that they had secured his signature.
Meanwhile, back in France, reports suggest that Stade Francais are chasing the No.8's signature.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry