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M Two One
29-04-09, 05:12 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
World Cup winning back Iain Balshaw has become the latest English star to move to France after signing for Top 14 side Biarritz from Guinness Premiership outfit Gloucester.

The 30-year-old (pictured), who came on as an extra-time replacement in England&#39;s 2003 World Cup final victory over Australia, signed a two-year contract with the French giants, who have had a poor season by their standards and likely to finish outside the top four.

Balshaw, capped 33 times, who effectively saw his international career come to an end when England manager Martin Johnson left him out of both the England and Saxons squads last November, had been in talks with runaway Second Division leaders Metro Racing.

But the injury-prone Balshaw was one of two signings by Biarritz as they also secured the signature of 24-year-old Clermont wing Fabien Alexandre, who also signed for two years.

Alexandre will be reunited with fellow 2006 World U20 championship winning team-mates Yann Fior and Arnaud Mignardi.

Biarritz had already signed Leicester Tigers English centre Ayoola Erinle and Romain Terrain from Castres.

Balshaw, who was twice selected for Lions tours, failing to play in any of the Tests in 2001 and then pulling out through injury in the 2005 edition, will join present England internationals James Haskell, Tom Palmer and Riki Flutey in leaving England for lucrative contracts in France.

Haskell and Palmer have signed for Stade Francais while Flutey has joined Brive.[/b]

Source: Yahoo! Sport UK & Ireland (http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/27042009/58/top-14-balshaw-signs-biarritz.html)

Opinions on this signing? Despite injuries I think this is a good move for Biarritz. I also really like the Fabien Alexandre signing.

Stillknox
30-04-09, 01:05 AM
Balshaw is a public danger at fullback. I hope he will play at wing, he has a good pace and a with his experience I think it&#39;s a good signing too. Alexandre is promising but he never was really convincing at Clermont and now he&#39;s far behind another youngster, Lapandry. Maybe Biarritz will do better with him.

M Two One
30-04-09, 01:15 AM
Alexandre should have playing time at Biarritz. They&#39;ve been fairly weak at wing all season long, which is why I like the move.

SaintsFan_Schweinsteiger_Webby
30-04-09, 07:14 AM
I think most of England will like the signing as it gets him out of the country.

An Tarbh
30-04-09, 07:39 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (SaintsFan_Schweinsteiger_Webby @ Apr 30 2009, 09:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=394040')</div>
I think most of England will like the signing as it gets him out of the country.[/b]

and teams won&#39;t be fearing Biarritz in the HEC either knowing there&#39;s the prospect of a Balshaw to help them out.

Prestwick
30-04-09, 07:48 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Stillknox @ Apr 30 2009, 01:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=394015')</div>
Balshaw is a public danger at fullback. I hope he will play at wing, he has a good pace and a with his experience I think it&#39;s a good signing too. Alexandre is promising but he never was really convincing at Clermont and now he&#39;s far behind another youngster, Lapandry. Maybe Biarritz will do better with him.[/b]

Mate, the guy is a joke. Its an awful signing. Biarritz are spending a couple hundred thousand on a guy who passes the ball to/at the rugby posts and keeps thinking he&#39;s a flanker rather than a fullback.

As Mite said, we like this move as it 1) gets Balshaw out of the bloody country and 2) sabotages a French team in time for next season&#39;s HEC campaign :lol:

Have fun with Captain Calamity!!

Stillknox
30-04-09, 11:50 AM
Well, this is Biarritz. All you got to do when you are a winger in Biarritz is catching the ball in the try scoring zone when Yachvili kick it straight into your hands. I guess he&#39;s hable to do that ?

... no ?

Prestwick
30-04-09, 02:32 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Stillknox @ Apr 30 2009, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}> ('index.php?act=findpost&pid=394071')</div>
... no ?[/b]

No...no...