Tough replacement for Bok legend
IN THE NEWS: Montpellier Hérault looks set to wield their considerable financial clout in the transfer markets with reports that they are to fill a Bismarck du Plessis void in the team with a like for like replacement.
Midi Olympique reports that MHR has agreed terms with Wallaby hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and that the Australian will join the club on a two-year deal.
With nine caps to his name, the soon to be 25-year-old hooker is signed with the Queensland Reds until 2021. Standing 1,82m and weighing 117kg, Paenga-Amosa cuts an imposing figure, one suited to the forward-centric rigours of the Top 14.
A former bin-man in Sydney, the front-rower rose from the ranks of the Shute Shield to the Wallabies after some standout performances for Brad Thorn’s Reds. Born in Auckland, Paenga-Amosa moved to Australia where he grew up playing rugby league, before leaving the Canterbury Bulldogs’ junior system at 15 to pursue a career in union.
He will replace Springbok legend Bismarck du Plessis at Montpellier with the 37-year-old South African expected to retire at the end of the current season.
Montpellier Hérault doesn’t appear to be dampening down their recruitment, despite investigations into whether or not they were in line with the French Rugby League (LNR) salary cap protocols.
Montpellier was fined €3 million (ZAR53 649 540) but face no further sanctions, after coming to an agreement with the LNR earlier this year. The club had been accused of irregularities during the 2018/19, following an expose by L’Equippe and RMC. The LNR stated that the “parties are pleased that an amicable solution has been found and that it allows us to work in the future in a peaceful atmosphere.”
The accusation revolved around the signing of South African flyhalf Johan Goosen, and a number of other top players. A report had suggested that money was paid to Goosen and other players via a shell company in South Africa, so that the majority of their salaries would not be counted towards the salary cap.