Haughton set for French move

29/08/2012

Jersey RFC are resigned to the loss of star summer signing Richard Haughton after the former England A flyer was approached by French Top 14 side Perpignan.

The 31-year-old joined Jersey in June this year after leaving London Wasps, and played in the recent friendly against Leicester Tigers, but a clause in his contract allowed him to consider an approach from a top level club.

Perpignan moved in for Haughton in response to an injury to full-back Sofiane Guitoune, taking advantage of the Top 14 regulation allowing clubs to make a 'medical wildcard' signing after the commencement of the season.

Jersey Director of Rugby Ben Harvey said the move was subject to confirmation of satisfactory clearance of a medical held on Tuesday August 28th, but admitted Haughton's departure was now likely and would be a blow to his squad.

"We're disappointed, but a player like Richard, who has played club rugby at the top level, was likely to attract interest of this kind, and had a clause in his contract if such an opportunity arose. We can't compete financially with a club the size of Perpignan.

"We've enjoyed having Richard in the squad for the past two months, other players have learned a lot from him and, subject to the medical and registration details, he will go with our best wishes."

Haughton has signed an initial six-month deal with Perpignan, and may go straight into contention for the club's away game against Clermont Auvergne this Saturday. Perpignan currently lie 12th in the Top 14 standings, after picking up losing bonus points against Bordeaux and Toulon so far this season, and will also take part in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Jersey's attention will be on the first league game of the 2012/13 season, Saturday's home clash with the Cornish Pirates (k-o 3pm), which also marks the Islanders' debut in the RFU Championship.

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