Goode joins English contingent in signing for Brive

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The Independent Online

Brive have signed England fly-half Andy Goode from Leicester. The 28-year-old, capped nine times by England, joins compatriots Ben Cohen, Steve Thompson and Ben Johnston at the French club.

Brive revealed that Goode has signed a two-year contract, with the option for an additional year. Goode has spent almost his entire 10-year career at Leicester, apart from a brief stint at Saracens in 2003. He made his debut for the Tigers against Cardiff in 1998 and was the leading points scorer in last season's Premiership.

Brive, who finished 11th in the French Championship last season, have also recruited the former Tigers scrum-half Christophe Laussucq as their new skills coach.

Elsewhere, South Africa have reacted furiously to their treatment by New Zealand as tensions mount ahead of tomorrow's Tri-Nations game in Dunedin.

The Springboks – still reeling from the controversial spear tackle that has sidelined captain John Smit – have been further incensed by comments made by All Black front-row great Craig Dowd. Dowd dismissed their coach Peter de Villiers as a "puppet" in a radio interview and questioned if he knew anything about rugby.

De Villiers' appointment in January as the successor to Jake White was cloaked in controversy amid claims it was politically motivated. The new Leicester coach, Heyneke Meyer, was clear favourite to replace White but De Villiers edged his rival for the post, becoming the Springboks' first black coach. Even the South African Rugby Football Union president, Oregan Hoskins admitted at the time that De Villiers, was not picked for rugby reasons alone.

Ever since, the 51-year-old's succession has been dogged by doubts over whether he is really in charge or merely a politically acceptable front for assistant coaches Gary Gold and Dick Muir. Dowd waded into the argument after New Zealand's 19-8 win in the Tri-Nations opener, making his "puppet" claim.

But the SARU chairman, Mpumelelo Tshume, has demanded a public apology, raising the temperature of a match full of bad blood from last Saturday. "SA Rugby has noted with shock and disgust comments made by former All Black Craig Dowd in which he described Peter de Villiers as a puppet, among other things," Tshume said. "Mr Dowd's comments are not only deeply and personally offensive to Peter de Villiers and SARU but also comically ill-informed on the affairs of South African rugby."

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