XV rugby – Top 14: Nemo Roelofse, Apisai Naqalevu and Tavite Veredamu arrive at USAP, Arthur Joly and Edward Sawailau extend

According to our information, three future Catalan players passed the medical examination at the start of the week to join USAP next season.

Since the announcement of the arrival of Franck Azema as the next USAP manager a month ago, the future staff and club leaders have been busy on the transfer window front. After having extended many players from the current squad, who will therefore remain next season, the club is working on the arrival of recruits.

According to our information, three players passed the medical examination at the beginning of the week and will sign a contract with the club. The name of the first had been known since the fall. USAP, which will see its right pillars Siua Halanukonuka and Ma’afu Fia at the end of the season, needed to recruit from this side of the first line. It is the South African from Stade Français Nemo Roelofse, 27, who passed through Nevers, in Prod D2 (2017-2021) and in Paris for two seasons who will commit in the coming days.

After playing the first nine matches of the season, he suffered a neck injury and has only reappeared once since, in a Challenge Cup game in April. Before committing him, Perpignan wanted to be sure of his state of health and the medical visit was satisfactory.

Two Fijians to play center and wing

Behind, there are two Fijian players who will engage with USAP. The first comes from Clermont. Apisai Naqalevu, 33, played a season in Bordeaux (2017-2018) before joining Auvergne. In five seasons with ASM, he played 75 matches and scored 18 tries. He is well known by Franck Azéma, who was his manager until his departure from the club in 2021.

The future Catalan manager also knows the Lyonnais Tavite Veredamu, who also had his medical examination, this Thursday, May 16, at the hospital in Perpignan. Versatile on the wing and in the center, this 33-year-old Fijian, who has qualities of speed and one-on-one, has solid experience at 7. If he is not Jiff, he has been international with The french team. At the same time, he played in Clermont, during the 2020-2021 season (6 matches, 2 tries), as a medical joker before joining Lyon, in the 2021 off-season (6 matches, 1 try).

This season, Veredamu is no longer engaged with the France team, with which he had a permanent contract since 2018, and has therefore had much more playing time at LOU. He has played 21 matches this season in Top 14 and in European Cups and scored three tries. He is in particular decisive passer on the test which crucified the USAP, two weeks ago in Lyon, depriving Perpignan of a well-deserved bonus.

As a reminder, the Italian opener Tommaso Allan, will make his return to USAP next season. His recruitment had been completed in the fall.

New extensions

Finally, two players from the current squad are about to extend. After Mathieu Acebes, Sadek Deghmache, Seilala Lam, Posolo Tuilagi, Giorgi Tetrashvili, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Ali Crossdale and Lucas Dubois, it is the right pillar Arthur Joly (1 year) and the center or winger Edward Sawailau (1 year + 1 optional) who will renew their lease.

The Catalan players, on rest since their great victory last Saturday against Toulouse (26-21), which allowed them to secure at least one play-off, will resume training this Wednesday. To better prepare for the end of the season, they are going on an internship in the Pyrenees, at the Falgos area (Serralongue) for three days. The next meeting, for the last day of Top 14, is scheduled for Sunday May 28, in Castres. And the play-off, if the USAP has to dispute it, will take place the following week, Saturday June 3, at the Pro D2 club which will have lost in the final.

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