A week can be a long time in the ever-evolving world of professional rugby.
This is never more relevant than in a World Cup year as the winds of change blow with established international stars looking further afield for a new experience and the financial rewards that often accompany the switch.
Before any transfers take place there is the small matter of the first international squads of the new year being announced in the first sneak peek as to which stars may be on show in the upcoming season.
So here are your top news stories of this week in Rugby Union.
World Rugby’s Most Influential Captain On The Move
South Africa’s World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi is set to depart South African shores at the end of the current season.
Since making his professional bow in 2009, the 31-year-old Kolisi has played all of his professional rugby in the republic but now departs for the Paris based Top14 powerhouse Racing92.
Kolisi’s current team the Cell C Sharks granted their captain an early release from his contract in order to fulfil his career ambitions abroad.
“I want to give massive thanks to the Sharks for welcoming me with open arms in 2021 and for making me feel so at home in Durban,” Kolisi said in a statement on social media.
“Their support over the last couple of years has been hugely influential during a key period in my career.”
As the current Springbok captain with 75 Test Caps to his name, Kolisi will remain available for international selection.
Releasing a statement of their own, Racing92 said that Kolisi’s signature whilst significant is just the beginning of a new relationship with the Cell C Sharks.
“Racing 92 are very pleased to announce the signing of Siya Kolisi. He is committed until 2026 and will join Ciel et Blanc at the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. This signing is part of a broader long-term collaboration agreement between the Racing 92 and Cell C Sharks clubs.
— Siya Kolisi (@SiyaKolisi) January 3, 2023
Scotland Cash In On Talented Irish Underage Star
Edinburgh Rugby announced on Wednesday their signing of Munster and Irish U20 flyhalf Ben Healy who will join the club at the end of the season.
Healy who qualifies immediately for Scotland through his mother will compete with current Scottish international Blair Kinghorn for the Edinburgh number shirt.
Speaking on his move, Healy told the Edinburgh Rugby website, “It’s clear how much they want to play. I’m looking forward to putting myself into a new environment and seeing how I go,”
“I’d like to thank everyone at Munster for their support over the last few seasons. I’ve loved every minute of my time playing with the club, but I felt now was the right time to take on a new and exciting challenge in Edinburgh.”
“Making the decision to leave my home club has not been easy and I am hugely grateful for the opportunity to represent my…
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