Dupuy set to leave Tigers
May 19, 2009
Julien Dupuy is set to leave Leicester for Stade Francais © Getty Images
Leicester scrum-half Julien Dupuy has confirmed that he is all but out of the door at the Tigers. Dupuy has won his first call-up to the France squad as a result of some outrageous form this season, but his homesick girlfriend looks set to pull him away from the Tigers and in to the waiting arms of French heavyweights Stade Francais.
Dupuy's contract with the Tigers does not expire for the year, meaning that Stade will be liable for a hefty transfer fee should they wish to prise the former Biarritz halfback away from Welford Road. Dupuy has already conceded however that he does not wish to stay at the Tigers at the expense of his happiness away from the sport.
He is likely to keep England and British & Irish Lions scrum-half Harry Ellis on the bench for Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Leinster at Murrayfield, confirming that his future will be decided after the game.
"Actually no," he admitted when asked if he wanted to stay in England. "It is not rugby. Rugby is really important but it is just 15 years of your life. The rest is important to me. I understand why Leicester want to keep me but we will speak after the final."
Leicester are reportedly being linked with Leinster's Australian scrum-half Chris Whitaker and coach Richard Cockerill admits the club would be prepared to listen to an offer for Dupuy if they secure a replacement.
"If Stade Francais find enough money to buy him, there could be something in it," said Cockerill.
Dupuy believes however that his international call-up is owed to his Tigers form and also their late surge under new head coach Cockerill.
"I'm lucky because the team has played two finals, which is good for me," he said. "I have played eight months with the Leicester forwards who have been so good. I am in the French squad because I play well for Leicester and because Leicester play well. It's always great to play for your country but that is three weeks away and I'm concentrating on Saturday's game. There are a lot of good players who have never played in a Heineken Cup final."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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