Australian rugby
Timani's loss may be McKenzie's gain
ESPN Staff
August 27, 2013
The Waratahs' Sitaleki Timani looks to force an opening, Waratahs v Brumbies, Super Rugby, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia, June 18, 2011
Sitaleki Timani is considering his next move after Montpellier withdrew their offer © Getty Images

Sitaleki Timani may be in line for a Wallabies recall after his move to France to join Montpellier fell through on Monday.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the former New South Wales Waratahs second rower is in discussions with the Melbourne Rebels and, should he remain in Australia for the 2014 Super Rugby season, the Tongan-born star is likely to be reconsidered for a place in Ewen McKenzie's forward pack.

Australia's new coach had ignored Timani for Bledisloe Cup selection as he was due to leave for France. He was to play his first game in October as part of a three-year deal rumoured to be worth around $2.4 million.

However it emerged Monday night that the deal is no longer on the table, however the reasons have not been revealed. If the reported deal with the Rebels materialises, Timani will join younger brother Lopeti, who has already signed on for the next two seasons, in the Victorian capital.

Timani did not take part in the Waratahs' end-of-season tour to Argentina because of his decision to move to Europe. The lock has instead been playing in the Shute Shield for Southern Districts, putting in an impressive display in his side's defeat to Eastwood last weekend.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has already signed a replacement for Timani in the form of South African Jacques Potgieter, while the Rebels are likely to have funds for additional players after releasing internationals Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor.

Thumb surgery sidelined Timani during the British & Irish Lions series and at 203cm and 120kg, he may on Ewen McKenzie's radar he looks to add strength to a Wallabies scrum that has struggled in recent Tests.

Timani has played 10 Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut against Samoa in 2011.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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