Rugby. Luamanu, Armitage, Goneva … The XV-type of players who will land in National 1

Luamanu, Armitage and Goneva, so many former pro players who arrive in National 1. (©Icon Sport)

Once again, the championship National 1 (third national level) will be full of former residents of the Top 14 and of Pro D2 during the 2022-2023 season. Flagship recruits who will be expected at the turn in this new division, the antechamber of professional rugby. Rugby News invites you to discover the XV-type of players who will discover the National 1 next September.

15. Dylan Sage (Montauban > Hyères-Carqueiranne-La Crau)

Fullback, centre, winger… Dylan Sage (31 years old) is a real Swiss army knife. The former South African international at VII (134 selections) was recruited by the ambitious promoted, RC Hyères-Carqueiranne-La Crau, from Montauban (Pro D2). The former Blue Bulls player will bring all his experience, speed and power to the Var three-quarter line.

14. Alofa Alofa (West Harbor (AUS) > Tarbes)

AlofaAlofa disembark at Tarbes Pyrenees Rugby Stadium with a well-stocked CV. After experiencing Super Rugby with the Waratahs, the Australian played for La Rochelle during the 2014-2015 season under the orders of Patrice Collazo. He then had three seasons at Harlequins in the Premiership, before joining Bayonne. Following extra-sporting problems, he left the Basque country in 2020 and has since been playing in West Harbor (Australia). If he finds the fullness of his means, the Samoan international (8 selections) could be a recruit of choice for the TPR.

13. Charles Brousse (Provence Rugby > Hyères-Carqueiranne-La Crau)

With l’Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Charles Bush knew the Top 14 since he played 33 meetings. The 31-year-old three-quarter center then made Provence Rugby happy in Pro D2. Established 94 times in 101 match sheets, Brousse has never disappointed. Explosive, fast and a good defender, there is no doubt that he will do good to the promoted Hyères-Carqueiranne-La Crau!

New Zealander Rhema Sagote
The New Zealander Rhema Sagote is a rookie of choice for Cognac/Saint-Jean-d’Angély. (©Icon Sport)

12. Rhema Sagote (Aurillac > Cognac/Saint-Jean-d’Angely)

Coming fromAurillacthe New Zealander Rhema Sagote will arrive power and punch in the center of the attack of Union Cognac/Saint-Jean-d’Angély. To attest to his importance in the Aurillacois system, here is a figure: 47. This is his number of tenures in as many matches in the Cantal jersey! He will be closely followed this season on the lawns of Nationale 1.

11. Vereniki Goneva (Mont-de-Marsan > Chambery)

The serial-marker Verenik Goneva (38 years old) launched an ultimate challenge of his career, on the side of Chambery. A significant recruit given his CV: Colomiers, Tarbes, Leicester, Newcastle, Arlequins, Mont-de-Marsan. The Fijian with 59 selections notably participated in the season of all records achieved last year by Stade Montois. Center or winger, “grandpa” Goneva remains a feared and formidable attacker for all opposing defenses.

10. François Fontaine (Soyaux-Angouleme > Albi)

Francois Fontaine is well and truly trained as an opener. After a stint with the young people of Clermont, he began his professional career with Castres Fr Top 14. International U20 and winner of the 6 Nations Junior Tournament in 2014, he then played four seasons at Colomiers before flying to Soyaux-Angouleme. Able to evolve at the opening or in the center, he should bring talent and freshness to Albi. Also note the arrival in Bourgoin-Jallieu of Nicolas Vuillemin notably passed through Oyonnax and Nevers, as well as the reinforcement of Lucas Meret (ex-Narbonne) in Valence-Romans.

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9. Jeremy Valençot (Grenoble > Bourg-en-Bresse)

With the departures of Titouan Guillon (Stade Métropolitain) and Florent Campeggia (Rouen), Bourg-en-Bresse was looking for a new scrum half. The Bressan club, relegated from Pro D2 this summer, has set its sights on the solid Jeremy Valencot (25 years). Trained in Villefranche-sur-Saône and passed by Lyon, the scrum-half played 6 seasons with Grenoble for 75 games played.

8. Steffon Armitage (Biarritz > Nice)

Steffon Armitage in Nice: it is undoubtedly the biggest blow signed by a National 1 club. Passed by Saracens, London Irish, Toulon, Pau and more recently Biarritz, the serial scratcher arrives in this championship and risks being a serious poison. The English international (36 years old; 5 selections) has three European Cups and a Brennus to his credit… Just that!

Pierre Roussel was one of the centerpieces of the Aurillac pack.
The former captain of Aurillac, Pierre Roussel, will make Albi happy this season. (©Icon Sport)

7. Pierre Roussel (Aurillac > Albi)

His departure saddened more than one side of Aurillac. After 10 seasons in Cantal, the third line Pierre Roussel (33) signed up for Albi in National 1 to return to his native Tarn. Men’s leader, excellent tackler and valuable in the sidelines, the player trained in Castres (2009-2012) has spent his entire professional career with Aurillac (226 games). A rookie who will do good to the Albigensian workforce in its quest for accession to the Pro D2. Also note the return of Theophile Cotte in Bourgoin-Jallieu. Passed by Lyon, in Top 14, he arrives from Nevers where he played 4 seasons.

6. Luke Stringer (Montauban > Albi)

The tireless tackler of Montauban Luke Stringer (26 years old) is committed to Albi. The South African third line notably played Super Rugby with the Sharks as well as the Currie Cup. In two seasons at USM Sapiac (Pro D2), the flanker took part in 36 games. As you will have understood, the Albigensian third line will look great.

5. Matt Luamanu (Bayonne > Dax)

It could move into the opposing defenses! Passed by Benetton Treviso (2014-2015), Matthew Luamanu (34) then did damage in the Premiership with Harlequins. In 2019, he joined Bayonne and the Top 14. Powerful, technical and a big tackler, the Samoan international (3 selections) will, for sure, be a good recruit for Dax. countryman son Junior Utu Maninoa will also be followed by Union Cognac Saint-Jean-d’Angély. Passed through Aurillac and Montauban, he arrived at the UCS from Tarbes.

4. Steevy Cerqueira (Brive > Chambery)

The former French U20 international Steevy Cerqueira left Brive and the Top 14 for the ambitious project of Chambéry. It must be said that in Corrèze, the giant (2m02), capable of playing in the second or third row, has only played 18 games in 5 seasons. Passed by Massy, ​​Lyon or even Béziers, the Portuguese international will bring his size and his experience to the Savoyard alignment.

3. Jean-Baptiste de Clercq (Bourg-en-Bresse > Albi)

John Baptist de Clercq is on the raise. After a stint at Stade Français punctuated by only three matches in the Top 14, the Belgian international pillar (9 selections) found himself in Federal 1 at Oloron. Very quickly, he returned to the professional level by signing in Bayonne. Little used in two years (14 match sheets), De Clercq left Aviron Bayonnais for Bourg-en-Bresse last season. At 28, he hopes to find playing time and chain matches on the side of Albi.

Hooker Maxime Delonca returns to Dax.
Hooker Maxime Delonca returns to Dax. (©Icon Sport)

2. Maxime Delonca (Bayonne > Dax)

Maxime Delonca is back to Dax. Trained at ES Catalan (Argelès-sur-Mer) then in Perpignan, with which he notably played in the Top 14, the hooker had played four seasons with Dax before committing to Bayonne for four years. He returns to the Landes crowned with a title of French Pro D2 champion, won last season with Ciel et Blanc. With Elvis Levi and Maxime Delonca, the SHU has two experienced tailgating players. We also mention Dorian Marco Penawho signed at Valence-Romans from Béziers (Pro D2).

1. Carlos Muzio (Mont-de-Marsan > Rennes)

Carlos Muzio will celebrate its 38th birthday on August 21st. But age is not an obstacle for the solid Argentinian left pillar to the 4 international selections. Passed by Vannes and Tarbes, he then had 8 seasons and 149 games at Mont-de-Marsan. A strong and experienced rookie for Rennes, promoted to National 1 after his title of French Fédérale 1 champion. Also note the signing of the pillar of Montauban, Pierre Commenge, in Albi.

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