Former Wallaby halfback joins Narbonne

by Staff Writer

Australian international halfback Josh Valentine has signed for Narbonne on a six-month contract starting from January 1, the French second-tier club announced on Thursday.

The 28-year-old, who had been with the Brumbies since 2009 having previously played for the Queensland Reds and the Waratahs, has been capped five times by Australia.

"It is a new challenge for me," he said at a press conference shortly after arriving in the southern-French town.

"However, this does not mean that I will not return to play in Australia, and if I ever have the opportunity to play for the Australian national team again I would do so with pleasure."

Narbonne have twice been French champions but are currently third from bottom in the second division, and were almost relegated to the third tier at the end of last season because of serious financial problems.

However, they were recently taken over by Australian investment group FG Management, who bought 75 per cent of the club's shares and made a cash injection of some 450,000 euros ($A576,225).

Valentine's head coach at Narbonne will be his former Brumbies team-mate Justin Harrison.

The arrival of Valentine takes the total number of Australians at the club, from board members to players, to 11.

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