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Pau pounces on All Black veteran

TRANSFER NEWS: Double World Cup-winning lock Sam Whitelock has signed a two-year contract with Pau, where he will join his younger brother Luke after the World Cup.

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The 34-year-old New Zealander has 143 international caps, third all-time behind retired compatriot Richie McCaw (148) and Welshman Alun Wyn Jones (158).

He has captained the All Blacks and was part of the teams that won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015.

“Welcoming Sam Whitelock to Section is an immense privilege and a great vote of confidence,” said Pau manager Sebastien Piqueronies.

“Although our project is based on a young, promising squad, we have always wanted to support it with experienced players.

“One more player has joined us, and he’s not nobody. Sam’s experience, toughness, professionalism and competitive spirit will bring a lot to the club.”

Pau will be Whitelock’s second experience abroad after a 2019 stint in Japan. Brother Sam, a 32-year-old forward, has been with the club since 2019.

“I’m looking forward to discovering rugby in France and facing this challenge,” Sam Whitelock said in a club press release.

“It’s great to be able to play with my brother in the same team and not against each other. My family and I are looking forward to discovering French culture and learning the language.”

On Tuesday, Pau, who only ensured Top 14 survival on the final day of the regular season on Sunday, announced the recruitment of English flyhalf Joe Simmonds from Exeter.

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Pau also extended the contracts of two international players who will be taking part in the World Cup in September and October.

Argentine prop Ignacio Calles has signed until 2025 and Tongan prop Siate Tokolahi until 2024, with an option for a further year.

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