Top 14 Orange
Dunning rolls into Biarritz
July 22, 2011
Dunning has 45 caps for the Wallabies but his international career appears to be over © Getty Images
Biarritz have confirmed the signing of former Wallabies prop Matt Dunning ahead of the 2011-12 Top 14 season.
Dunning - who last appeared for the Wallabies in November 2009- failed to make Robbie Deans' 40-man squad for the Tri-Nations and joins the Basque side from the Western Force. Dunning is primarily a tight-head prop but can ply his trade in the loose-head berth. Biarritz will hope to tap into the 32-year-old's vast experience in a bid to improve on their poor return in the 2010-11 season.
Following their fifth place finish in the 2010-11 Top 14 Biarritz have recruited heavily for the new season bringing in South African prop Albertus Buckle, winger/centre Benoit Baby, hooker Arnaud Heguy, England Sevens international Dan Caprice and Fiji sevens skipper Seremaia Burotu at the club.
Elsewhere, Top 14 rivals Castres have bolstered their half-back options with the short-term signing of South African Rory Kockott from the Lions. The 25-year-old will join as cover for injured scrum-half Thierry Lacrampe who will be out for an estimated three months. Though Kockott's move is short-term at present, forwards coach Laurent Travers admitted the side could look into keeping the Lions half-back "if things goes well."
Meanwhile, Lyon centre Lee Thomas will miss the first three months of the Top 14 season after undergoing knee surgery. The 27-year-old's absence was confirmed by a club spokesperson who said: "We hope to welcome him back for the home game with Montpellier in November."
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