Little chooses Gloucester over Australia

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The Independent Online

Jason Little, the Australian World Cup centre and New South Wales captain, saidyesterday that he will play for Gloucester this season on a two-year contract - although the club maintained that contractual talks have still to be concluded.

Jason Little, the Australian World Cup centre and New South Wales captain, saidyesterday that he will play for Gloucester this season on a two-year contract - although the club maintained that contractual talks have still to be concluded.

Presuming that the deal goes through, Little, who won his 73rd cap when the Wallabies beat South Africa 26-6 in Sydney on Saturday, will follow his Wallabies team-mates and fellow World Cup-winners Tim Horan and David Wilson into the Allied Dunbar Premiership One.

Horan signed a lucrative deal with Saracens earlier this summer but has recently been injured, while Wilson is to captain Harlequins.

Little's probable farewell Test appearance will be against the Springboks in Durban on 26 August - his 30th birthday - paving the way for a Premiership debut some time during September. Gloucester kick off their league season at Saracens six days earlier, but neither Little nor Horan will have arrived in England by then.

"I will turn 30 the day of my last Test match against South Africa in Durban and that seems a fitting time to say farewell to Test rugby," Little said. "England will allow me to spend more time with my wife and continue my career with an investment bank."

Three French clubs have announced the signings of South African players for the forthcoming season.

The former Northern Bulls tight-head prop Jaco Espag, 33, will spend next season with Pau, while Reiner van den Bergh, a former South African Under-23 prop, will play for Aurillac, and the 26-year-old flanker Lodewyk Hattingh, from Western Stormers, is joining Grenoble.

Play was held up for six minutes in a New Zealand district final after a spectator who ran on to the field and tackled a player was attacked by other supporters. The incident happened with two minutes left in the Wanderers v Athletic final in the Horowhenua-Kapiti club competition, north of Wellington. The game eventually finished 13-13.

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