Top 14 Orange
Dunning rolls into Biarritz
July 22, 2011
Dunning has 45 caps for the Wallabies but his international career appears to be over © Getty Images
Biarritz have confirmed the signing of former Wallabies prop Matt Dunning ahead of the 2011-12 Top 14 season.
Dunning - who last appeared for the Wallabies in November 2009- failed to make Robbie Deans' 40-man squad for the Tri-Nations and joins the Basque side from the Western Force. Dunning is primarily a tight-head prop but can ply his trade in the loose-head berth. Biarritz will hope to tap into the 32-year-old's vast experience in a bid to improve on their poor return in the 2010-11 season.
Following their fifth place finish in the 2010-11 Top 14 Biarritz have recruited heavily for the new season bringing in South African prop Albertus Buckle, winger/centre Benoit Baby, hooker Arnaud Heguy, England Sevens international Dan Caprice and Fiji sevens skipper Seremaia Burotu at the club.
Elsewhere, Top 14 rivals Castres have bolstered their half-back options with the short-term signing of South African Rory Kockott from the Lions. The 25-year-old will join as cover for injured scrum-half Thierry Lacrampe who will be out for an estimated three months. Though Kockott's move is short-term at present, forwards coach Laurent Travers admitted the side could look into keeping the Lions half-back "if things goes well."
Meanwhile, Lyon centre Lee Thomas will miss the first three months of the Top 14 season after undergoing knee surgery. The 27-year-old's absence was confirmed by a club spokesperson who said: "We hope to welcome him back for the home game with Montpellier in November."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"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
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success
We bring you our pick of the best pictures from around the world in the last seven days with the battle for Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup glory taking centre stage