LEINSTER is ready to add Charlie Ngatai to their squad for next season after the former All Black center reportedly turned down a contract extension with top-14 side Lyon.
According to local media in the French city, the club expected the New Zealander to set their future with an international cap after four years, but the four-time European champions have turned their heads.
Ngatai won 12 caps for the Maori All Blacks before making his international debut against Samoa in 2015, while playing Super Rugby for the Hurricanes and the Chiefs before moving to France in 2018. He has played 82 times for Lyon.
The move would be odd considering Leinster has Ireland’s first voting centers on their books with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose.
Ringrose recently signed a national contract while Henshaw has also signed an extension and will both be at Leinster next season.
Leinster have had the option of signing an overseas defender since Joe Tomane left the club and they were revealed to have been interested in Racing 92 France international Virimi Vakatawa last season but nothing came of it.
Rory O’Loughlin will join Exeter at the end of this season and Conor O’Brien’s future is unclear, so Ngatai may be added as someone who can represent the Irish pair during their international absences and injuries at the 2023 World Cup as one in their minds play a big role.
A fast and powerful carrier, the Kiwi will certainly expand their options once the deal is in place, with Springbok lock Jason Jenkins also joining from Munster at the end of the current campaign.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/leinster-rugby/leinster-linked-with-move-for-ex-all-blacks-centre-charle-ngatai-41492598.html Leinster linked with move to ex-All Blacks center Charle Ngatai