Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy

Leicester Tigers eye replacement for Telusa Veainu from Clermont

NICK Abendanon has spoken to Leicester about joining them when the season resumes.

The former Bath full-back is without a club after leaving Clermont Auvergne, where he has spent the last six seasons.

Abendanon, 34 next month, is keen to continue his career in the Premiership and Leicester are looking for players after releasing five last week.

He would be a straight forward replacement for Telusa Veainu, who exited Welford Road along with Manu Tuilagi, Kyle Eastmond, Greg Bateman and Noel Reid.

Abendanon had entered talks with Glasgow Warriors at the start of the year but his route to Scotstoun hit a dead end.

“I’m out of contract at the end of June and had a couple of potential options that looked very promising, but both of those have dried up,” Abendanon told TRP in April.

“There were two options back in the Premiership and a few things in France’s Pro D2, but there’s nothing for me in the Top 14. I’d been looking forward to going back to the UK for one last big challenge in top-flight rugby, but that looks over now.”

Veainu, the 2018 RPA Players’ Player of the Season, has signed for Stade Francais on a two-year deal.

The Parisiens were in the midst of a relegation scrap at the foot of the Top 14 table prior to the season being suspended and eventually abandoned by the LNR, with the race for the league title and survival battle scrapped.

Upping their efforts to be more competitive for 2020-21, Veainu becomes part of a double-Premiership arrival at Stade Jean Bouin after Gerbrandt Grobler switched from Gloucester.

The Tongan international follows Argentina flanker Marcos Kremer to the 14-time champions of France.

NEIL FISSLER

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