Friday 24 November 2017

Aussie second-row Kane Douglas on his way to Leinster

Leinster target Kane Douglas
Leinster target Kane Douglas
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster are poised to land Australia second-row Kane Douglas for next season.

In a flat, pre-World Cup transfer market where most southern hemisphere talent is under contract until 2015, the capture of a 24-year-old Wallaby who started all three Tests against the Lions last summer is a coup for the three-time European champions.

At 6' 7" and 18.5st, the 14-times capped Waratah will replace captain Leo Cullen, who is moving upstairs as forwards coach, and add considerable bulk alongside Devin Toner in the second-row.

But his arrival is not good news for Mike McCarthy, who has not had the expected impact since arriving from Connacht last summer.

The province have confirmed that Andrew Goodman will leave at the end of this season, but it is not yet known where second-rows Tom Denton and Quinn Roux will stand after Douglas' arrival.

Roux is under contract until the end of next season, but the project player who arrived with a big reputation from South Africa has failed to make the breakthrough thus far. Denton's deal is up at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, reports in France indicate that Ronan O'Gara is set to extend his stay at Racing Metro until 2017.

The former Munster and Ireland fly-half joined the Parisian club as a kicking coach this season on a one-year deal and has worked with Johnny Sexton all season.

Despite their early-season struggles and Saturday's 44-10 thrashing by table-toppers Montpellier, Racing finished fifth in the Top 14 to reach the play-offs.

They face a daunting trip to Toulouse on Friday night for the 'match de barrage'.

The top-six finish guarantees the big-spending club European rugby next season, along with Montpellier, Toulon, Clermont Auvergne, Toulouse and Castres, while Stade Francais will play off against the seventh placed English Premiership side, Wasps, for the final place in next season's Rugby Champions Cup.

Clermont extended their unbeaten run at Stade Marcel Michelin to 77 games as their 25-22 victory sent Perpignan down to the second division for the first time since 1911.

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