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Bayonne sign Mathew Tait and Tom Taylor
ESPN Staff
March 2, 2015
Mathew Tait will be at Bayonne next term © Getty Images

French club Bayonne have announced the signings of England-capped back Mathew Tait on a two-year contract and All Blacks utility Tom Taylor, who has agreed a three-year deal.

Tait, whose decision to move to France was revealed in January, makes the switch at the end of the northern season after four years at Leicester. The 29-year-old former Sale and Newcastle player has represented England 38 times, with his last appearance coming in 2010.

Taylor, who like Tait can play in several positions in the backs, has won three caps with New Zealand and has been playing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby. The 25-year-old, whose father Warwick and uncle Murray played for the All Blacks in the 1980s, will join Bayonne on November 1.

A statement on read: "The back or winger of Leicester Tigers' Mathew Tait has committed to two seasons with Bayonne. The former England international played in the 2007 World Cup final against South Africa. At 21, he was the youngest English player to start a World Cup final.

"Currently playing with the province of Canterbury and the Crusaders, New Zealand fly-half or centre Tom Taylor, meanwhile, joins Bayonne for three seasons."

Taylor said he was looking forward to the next chapter of his career.

"I have absolutely loved my time here at Canterbury and the Crusaders, especially being a Christchurch boy. I've grown up with these teams and it's certainly been a tough decision to leave my hometown, but this is an exciting opportunity for the next part of my rugby career."

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said Taylor would be a real loss to the franchise.

"Tom has an enormous amount of talent and a great rugby brain. His skills, versatility and attitude are greatly valued here and will be missed."

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