May 22, 2024

Kyle Sinckler: Toulon signs for England international, with Lewis Ludlam set to follow

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Lewis Ludlam (left) and Kyle Sinckler (right) will be reunited with their former England team-mate Dave Rebance in Toulon.

Kyle Sinckler has joined Toulon for next season, with his England teammate Lewis Ludlam expected to follow.

Bristol have announced that Sinckler, 31, will leave to join the Top14 squad, which also includes Northampton back-rower Ludlam.

Becoming a three-time European Champions Cup winner would effectively end the England aspirations of both players.

Under current rules, England coach Steve Borthwick cannot select players who play for clubs abroad.

Toulon, who won the last of their four French titles in 2014, are fifth in the Top 14 with seven rounds of the regular season remaining.

“They are two good signings that will complement our attacking group for many years,” Toulon club president Bernard Lemaitre told AFP.

“They respond to the profiles we look for in our hiring process,” Lemaitre added.

“We try to have higher expectations about the mentality, behavior and lifestyle of players like their impressive compatriot Dave Rebence.”

Sinckler won the last of his 68 caps for England at the Rugby World Cup in France last fall.

Ludlam, 28, was also involved in the tournament, earning his 25th cap in the third-place play-off against Argentina.

But both missed selection for Borthwick's squad for this year's Six Nations.

Former Englishman Jonny Wilkinson won a second successive European title with Toulon a decade ago.

Pat Lam, Bristol's director of rugby, said of Sinckler: “He's dealt with his fair share of setbacks along the way and I think he's playing his best rugby which is testament to his resilience and determination.

“Like everyone’s journey, there will always be a time when it ends, and I know Kyle is desperate to finish his time at the Bears on a high and continue his impressive form until the end of the season.”

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