Leicester Tigers back row Jordan Taufua has quit the Premiership to sign for Lyon as a medical joker.
The New Zealander has left Welford Road with immediate effect to bypass expectations that he would see out the season at Tigers.
TRP reported on Sunday that Leicester have already lined up a replacement for Taufua in former Springbok Marco van Staden, now with the Bulls.
Lyon have fallen short of expectations when they had been expected to challege for honours in the Top 14 given their second-place standing last season, before it was abandoned by the LNR due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The season-ending injury to Mathieu Bastareaud, who has been shifted to No.8 from his usual position of centre by Lyon, placed a greater emphasis on Lyon to source a replacement.
Taufua arrived at Welford Road as an esteemed member of the Crusaders squad which claimed Super Rugby glory. But his time at Leicester has not worked out, making 18 appearances since his debut at the start of the 2019-20 season.
Leicester Tigers head of performance Aled Walter was asked during Tuesday’s media session if Taufua would be available for selection for Friday night’s Premiership match against Sale Sharks, to which he answered: “I have absolutely no idea.”
French media has reported Taufua will sign a two-year deal at Lyon once the terms of his medical joker expire.