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Wallabies star to ditch Premiership for Top 14

TRANSFER NEWS: Australian international lock Rob Simmons, currently playing for London Irish in the English Premiership, has signed a two-year deal with Clermont, the French Top 14 club announced on Monday.

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The 33-year-old, who has also played for Reds and Waratahs in Super Rugby, will join Clermont for the 2023/24 season.

Simmons won 102 caps for Australia, competing at three World Cups. He played in the 2015 World Cup Final against New Zealand but has not played for the Wallabies since 2020.

“We needed to beef up the pack for the coming seasons with high-quality players,” said Clermont coach Christophe Urios in a statement.

“Rob’s arrival is part of this objective. He will bring us all his experience in terms of conquest and character.”

Clermont, who are currently 10th in the Top 14, have faced a difficult season which has seen the sacking of previous coach Jono Gibbes and the imminent exit to Bordeaux-Begles of star wing Damian Penaud.

They have responded with a series of signings, mainly in the forwards, with 23-year-old lock Chris Gabriel also announced on Monday.

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The 2.03m-tall forward joins a swathe of international recruits including France prop Mohamed Haouas, Australian hooker Folau Fainga’a, New Zealand loose forward Pita-Gus Sowakula and Argentina No.8 Marcos Kremer.

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