Kiwi flyer on French ‘hit list’

The number of All Blacks on the “hit list” of ambitious French clubs looking to bolster their player resources after the World Cup this year continues to grow.

The Fiji Times reported on Sunday that the All Blacks could lose their sensational Fijian wing Sitiveni Sivivatu, who is also being pursued by French club Agen.

Agen, which already has one of best wing in the world in Rupeni Caucaunibuca, last week confirmed that they had signed All Black scrum-half Byron Kelleher.

According to reports the club is also looking to add the likes of veteran All Black hooker Anton Oliver and Sivivatu to the list of Kiwi internationals at the club.

Kelleher confirmed his move to Agen last Friday, after the Chiefs – his Super 14 outfit – had smashed the Lions 34-7 in Hamilton. He made the announcement at the post-match media conference.

Now, according to the Fiji Times, Agen have also approached Sivivatu, while Oliver has an open arrangement to join a top French club.

Sivivatu only made his debut for the Kiwis in 2005. He has been one of the finest finishers for the All Blacks and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) is expected to try and keep the wing in the country.

Agen wanted to buy an international number eight, scrum-half and fly-half axis for their senior side.

An attempt to sign Carlos Spencer from Northampton failed and they were then said to be close to signing Highlanders pivot Nick Evans, a situation he strongly denied.

“I’m in no position to even look at going overseas yet. I’m still contracted to New Zealand until the end of 2008, so for me to be looking overseas now would be pretty stupid,” Evans said.

French clubs have been targeting All Blacks off contract after the World Cup and are still pursuing signatures from utility back Luke McAlister, lock Ali Williams, wing Doug Howlett and number eights like Mose Tuiali’i, Sione Lauaki or Steven Bates.

The French hunt for All Blacks has gone to another level since midfielder Aaron Mauger revealed he had signed for Leicester and Saracens signalled their link to Chris Jack.


365 Digital

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