RUGBY UNION; Jones is target for French clubs

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THE WELSH giant Derwyn Jones is ready to turn his back on his country to begin a new career - in France. The 6ft 10in Cardiff second row is out of contract at the Arms Park at the end of the season and is being trailed by a number of clubs across the Channel, with Bourgoin the favourites to sign him.

The lock, capped 19 times by Wales, last played against Australia in 1996. He said: "There has been some interest from clubs in France. It is early days yet, but I am looking at my options and have been with Cardiff a long time. I have to look at what is best for me, but it will be a huge wrench to leave.

"However, with the situation with Cardiff and Welsh Rugby Union this season the club has allowed me to speak to other clubs."

The Tongan centre, Pita Tanginoa, will be flown to a New Zealand hospital today for an assessment of the spinal injuries he suffered in last weekend's World Cup trial match against Georgia.

Tanginoa was left unconscious after taking a heavy tackle and falling beneath several players in Saturday's fixture.

Doctor 'Aisake Takau, of the Vaiola Hospital, told Radio Tonga yesterday that Tanginoa had been partially paralysed but that the extent of his injury could not be determined at Vaiola.

Takau said he was optimistic about the player's recovery when he is taken to Auckland Hospital.

Tanginoa plays for West Hartlepool in this country, but returned home for the trial match in which the hosts beat Georgia 37-6.