We take a look at the player transfers in the French Pro D2 in this article.
A drop in level and a drop in salary be it 200K FJD as an average.
Here you will see those players towards the end of their ‘pro days’ or those that aspire to the next level, and those that were not quite there to make it to the top but with a family to support. Players will still earn as much as Super Rugby. So here we go, agen…
Agen, a famous name in French rugby, relegated and having to cut their budget. They are bringing in Kolinio Ramoka from Cognac while some have chosen to stay. Timilai Rokoduru, Tevita Railevu and Inoke Kurukuruvakatini.
Aix:Provence welcome Flying Fijians winger Eroni Sau from Edinburgh and Luke Tagi to link up with Seremaia Burotu.Embed from Getty Images
Aurillac and one of the coldest places to play rugby in France have seen their share of Fijians come and go. A club where Isimeli Kuruibua will link up with fellow Fijian ‘Jiffs’ Christa Powell and Simeli Yabaki. (I will explain what and why Jiffs are important).
Bayonne: despite relegation they have been able to attract 7s star Sireli Maqala who will be helped by Joe Ravouvou to settle in.
Beziers see Uwa Tawalo moving to Nat 1 Massy having never fulfilled his potential when arriving at Clermont 9 years ago.
Niether Bourg en Bresse or Carcassonne have contracted Fijians.
Colomiers, and Josua Vici’s move to MHR already mentioned in part 1. Grenobole have brought in Pio Muarua to bulk up their back row, from Mont de Marsan.I skip another couple of clubs to find Narbonne and Save Totovasau who arrives from the Major Rugby League and San Diego as did Vici. The next step up.
Nevers: apart from Josaia Raisuqe, Nasoni Naqiri left mid season to join Soyaux and Ilikena Bolakoro, after 10 years as a pro is stepping down a level to Dax. The former 7s rep also works with Pacific Rugby Players Welfare. If you do not know PRPW look it up.Embed from Getty Images
Oyonnax, and another cold place. Although not showing Gaby Lovobalavu is at the end of his contract and may be calling a day after 14 years here. If so wishing him and his family the best.
Finally Vannes and Laijaisa Bolenaivalu is stepping down a level to Nat 1 Nice.
In summary there are fewer Fijians at clubs at Pro D2 than 5 years ago, JIff and financial constraints among other factors. So we will move on to National 1, formed 2 years ago a pro league to buffer the gap between amateurs and the top 2 divisions in France