Bayonne confirm ‘world class’ Wallaby Hodge arrival before Stade Francais win

Australia full-back Reece Hodge will join Bayonne in November and the French Top 14 club marked the occasion by defeating Stade Francais 29-26 on Saturday.

The 28-year-old, with 62 Test appearances, has signed a three year-deal and will arrive at Stade Jean-Dauger after this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The Melbourne Rebels goal-kicker, who can also play winger and centre, had been linked with a move in recent weeks to Bayonne by newspaper Midi Olympique.

“He’ll come to beef up our squad,” Bayonne president Philippe Tayeb told Canal+ television.

“He’s a world class player and will bring his all-round ability to help and grow our project and the youngsters in our club,” he added.

Argentina hooker Facundo Bosch scored just a week after signing a new contract with Basque club Bayonne, who stay in sixth place in the table.

The Parisians thought they had claimed a draw with Romain Briatte’s late try but fly-half Camille Lopez slotted an 82nd minute penalty for the hosts leaving the 14-time champions in second place, seven points behind leaders Toulouse.

The home side led 10-7 after Bosch, who has an outside chance of making his country’s squad for this year’s World Cup, crashed over from a rolling maul.

Lopez and Stade Francais fly-half Joris Segonds traded penalties with the score 16-13 at the break.

With 10 minutes to play Bayonne led 26-21 thanks to another Lopez penalty before back-rower Briatte made his way over, but Morgan Parra then missed the conversion that would have given the away side the lead.

With two minutes gone over normal time 33-year-old Lopez, who made the last of his 27 Test appearances in 2019, stepped up to take his tally for the day up to 19 points and extend his team’s unbeaten record in the league to 16 games.

– Six Nations boosts –

Later, with the Six Nations’ third round next weekend, Scotland fly-half Finn Russell was an unused substitute as Racing 92 beat Brive 34-24.

France centre Jonathan Danty came off the bench after recovering from injury as La Rochelle eased past Castres 32-17 in a boost for Les Bleus head coach Fabien Galthie before welcoming Scotland to Paris next Sunday.

There was also a reason to cheer for Italy head coach Kieran Crowley as fly-half Paolo Garbisi played the final 30 minutes in Montpellier’s 31-21 loss at Lyon in the playmaker’s first game since late-December due to a knee issue.

Ex-Italy captain Sergio Parisse was shown a red card as his Toulon side edged leaders Toulouse 17-6 to move two points from the play off places.

The blockbuster game was moved 60km (38 miles) up the Mediterranean coast to Marseille’s 67,000-capacity football stadium, Stade Velodrome.

On Sunday, Christophe Urios takes Clermont to his former side Bordeaux-Begles.


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