Stade Francais boss opens up about Laumape's future
NEWS: The situation regarding Ngani Laumape at Stade Francais has been described as unresolved, according to reports.
The French club’s owner Hans-Peter Wild admitted they have embraced the possibility of releasing the former All Blacks midfielder from a deal that doesn’t expire until June 2024.
The 29-year-old was a huge singing last season for the Top 14 club after it had lost France international Gael Fickou to city rivals Racing 92.
However, the switch wasn’t the easiest for Laumape, the centre capped 15 times by the All Blacks. He spent the recent European off-season back in New Zealand, fueling speculation that he could potentially join the Manawatu Turbos.
However, Laumape has since returned to France and has begun the pre-season build-up at Stade but it still isn’t guaranteed he will be manning their midfield when the league campaign starts in September.
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Midi Olympique, the French rugby newspaper, reported that the future of Laumape is still very much up in the air.
“Ngani Laumape is training with us at the moment,” Wild told the Midi Olympique
“But his family is having a little trouble adjusting to this huge city that is Paris and we have therefore recently studied the possibility of freeing the player.
“Whatever happens in the next few days, we will look at what the best option is for him, for his family and for the club.”
Stade have unveiled 13 new recruits for the 2022/23 season, but Midi have also linked them with potentially bringing in Francis Saili, another ex-All Blacks midfielder, or Curtis Rona, the former Wallabies player who is currently at London Irish. “We need a centre and we have a few options,” continued Wild.
“Francis Saili [still under contract in Biarritz where he hasn’t resumed training], is one of those. In this regard, a decision will be made within a week.”
The newspaper added: “If the Saili track could not be completed [Biarritz would require several hundred thousand euros for the purchase of the player’s remaining two years of contract], the Australian Curtis Rona [London Irish] could interest the Parisians.”
Stade finished last season in eleventh place, their tally of 50 points 15 short of Toulon, the eighth and final Champions Cup qualifier, and 20 points shy of sixth place Racing, the lowest place team to make the end-of-season French league playoffs.