Neemia Tialata signs two-year Bayonne deal
Neemia Tialata is the latest All Black to announce his departure overseas, having signed a two-year deal with French club Bayonne.
The versatile Wellington and Hurricanes prop will join Bayonne later this year along with former All Blacks No 8 Sione Lauaki, who leaves fellow French Top 14 club Clermont after signing a three-year contract.
As well as boosting the sheer size of their pack, Bayonne have also recruited two players heavy in test experience.
Tialata, 28, has played 43 tests since his debut against Wales at Cardiff in 2005 while Lauaki, 29, clocked up 17 caps.
The hefty Tialata's ability to play on both sides of the scrum has been a constant asset although he hasn't played a test since June last year, with his progress hindered by the emergence of the Franks brothers, Owen and Ben.
Bayonne, who also have former All Blacks locks Troy Flavell and Ross Filipo on their books, finished seventh in this year's French domestic competition.
They recently signed French international winger Cedric Heymans and French newspaper Sud Ouest said they were also in talks to capture All Blacks winger Joe Rokocoko and Australian lock Mark Chisholm.
Lauaki confirmed his signing on Twitter and made a statement on the Bayonne website: "I'm a competitor, Bayonne are an ambitious club, I want to help them to continue to evolve."