Fiji's Olympic champion Maqala to join Bayonne after U-turn

Bayonne (France) (AFP) – French second-tier Bayonne said on Tuesday Sireli Maqala will join the club despite Fiji's Olympic rugby sevens gold medallist claiming he had backed out of the deal in August.


Maqala, 21, told the Fiji Times he had turned down the offer to concentrate on playing for the national team.

The utility back, who has yet to play 15-a-side rugby outside of Fiji, will fly to Ireland this week to obtain his work visa and then travel to France.

"Three months after announcing his signature at the end of July and after his Olympic victory in Tokyo with Fiji Sevens, Sireli Maqala will arrive soon in the Basque Country," Bayonne said.

"It's on Tuesday November 2 that Maqala, who has signed for two seasons until 2023, is expected to be in Bayonne" they added.

Maqala will be presented to the Stade Jean-Dauger crowd on Friday November 5 before the ProD2 game with Mont-de-Marsan.

He will become Fiji's fourth Tokyo champion playing club rugby in France after Pau's Aminiasi Tuimaba, Castres' Vilimoni Botitu and Toulon's Jiuta Wainoqolo.

Of the 2016 Rio gold medallists Toulon's Leone Nakarawa, Lyon's Josua Tuisova and Montpellier's Masivesi Dakuwaqa ply their trade in the Top 14.