James to leave Clermont for Top14 rivals La Rochelle

Brock James will play for La Rochelle next season

Australian fly-half Brock James has agreed to leave Clermont, who he has been with since 2006, and join Top 14 rivals La Rochelle from the end of the season.

Thirty-four-year-old James has been with Clermont for nine years and helped Clermont to a French Top 14 title in 2010 but lost in four other domestic finals (2007, 2008, 2009, 2015) as well as two European Cup finals (2013, 2015), each time to Toulon.

The former Taranaki, Queensland Reds and Western Force playmaker has been the top scorer in the Top 14 three times and has had French nationality since 2013 but has never been eligible for Les Bleus after having turned out for the Australian sevens team.

Clermont meanwhile announced the arrival in a similar deal of Australian lock Sitaleki Timani from Montpellier.

The versatile 29-year-old has been capped 18 times by the Wallabies and touched down in Montpellier in 2013.

In other news, Johann Authier was named head coach of Oyonnax, currently bottom of the Top 14, until the end of the season.

The 33-year-old replaces Olivier Azam, sacked in mid-November because of a string of poor results.

But Azam’s assistants Stephane Glass (backs) and Pascal Peyron (forwards) will stay on under Authier.

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