Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: GAIZKA IROZ / AFP 20:42 pm, May 31, 2023

Sam Whitelock, the second most capped player in history with New Zealand, will join Pau in the Top 14. The 2nd line, already twice world champion, has committed to a two-year contract with the Béarnais club. He joins his brother Luke.

The 2nd line double world champion with New Zealand, Sam Whitelock, has signed a two-year contract with Pau that he will join after the World Cup and where he will find his little brother Luke, announced Wednesday the club Béarnais. The All Black sector is back in Béarn. After the center Conrad Smith and the opener Colin Slade, it is the turn of Sam Whitelock (34), another world champion, to join the city of Henry IV.

The All Black with 143 caps, regularly captain, is the most capped player in activity and the third of all time behind his compatriot Richie McCaw (148) and the Welshman Alun Wyn Jones (158). He won Super Rugby 4 times and won the Rugby Championship seven times.

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"Trusted brand"

"Welcoming Sam Whitelock to the Section is a huge privilege and a great sign of confidence," said his manager Sébastien Piqueronies. If our project is based on a young and promising squad, we have always wanted to supervise it with experienced players. One more joins us and not least. The experience, toughness, professionalism and competitive spirit that drives Sam will bring a lot to the club."

In Pau, which will be his second experience abroad after a freelancing in 2019 in Japan, Sam Whitelock will be reunited with his brother Luke (32 years old, 7 caps). "I can't wait to discover rugby in France and face this challenge," he said in a club statement. It's great to be able to play with my brother on the same team and not against each other. My family and I are looking forward to discovering French culture and learning the language."

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Joe Simmonds already recruited

On Tuesday, the Section Paloise, which ensured its maintenance in the Top 14 on Sunday on the occasion of the 26th and last day, had announced the recruitment of English opener Joe Simmonds from Exeter. In addition, the Béarnais club has extended the contracts of two of its internationals who will play in the World Cup this autumn: Argentine prop Ignacio Calles has committed until 2025 and Tongan pillar Siate Tokolahi until 2024 with an option for another year.