Transfer season is underway in France as Ashley-Cooper signs for Bordeaux

The Top 14 club have been building impressively in recent seasons.

Ashley-Cooper is tackled by Simon Zebo in Dublin last month.
Ashley-Cooper is tackled by Simon Zebo in Dublin last month.
Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

BORDEAUX BÉGLES HAVE confirmed the signing of Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper on a two-year contract.

The 30-year-old wing/centre will join the Top 14 outfit after the 2015 World Cup, and this announcement could be the first of a raft among the French clubs. Racing Métro president Jacky Lorenzetti will hold a “special” press conference in Paris tomorrow morning.

Ashley-Cooper represents a major coup for Raphaël Ibañez’s Bordeaux, who have been building impressively in recent seasons and currently sit sixth [inside the Champions Cup qualification spots] in the Top 14.

The Australian will not come cheap, and the financial backing of president Laurent Marti and the club’s various sponsors was important in seeing the deal over the line. Ashley-Cooper’s decision to join UBB speaks volumes for the direction they are heading in.

Importantly, Bordeaux also play a thrilling brand of rugby, and have earned a reputation as one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in France. That on-pitch ambition may also have proved a lure for Ashley-Cooper.

Tomorrow morning’s press conference at Racing Métro’s training facility in Plessis-Robinson, meanwhile, comes after intense recent speculation that Dan Carter will join the Parisian club to replace Johnny Sexton next season.

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Toulon are also considered to be in the running to sign the New Zealand out-half, although president Mourad Boudjellal has told French newspaper Varmartin that Carter would command a salary of at least €1.8million.

The outspoken RCT chief stated his belief that no club who paid a single player such a sum could remain under the €10.5million Top 14 salary cap. It remains to be seen whether or not Racing will indeed sign Carter for next season.

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Murray Kinsella

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