Rebels centre signs with Oyonnax

Beth Newman Profile
by AFP & Beth Newman

Rebels centre Mitch Inman has signed with newly promoted French Top 14 side Oyonnax.

The 28-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the club, who have earned selection in the Top 14 for the 2017-18 season after a year in the Pro D2.

Oyonnax announced Inman's signing overnight, making him the second player from the Rebels to confirm an overseas move since the lifting of the ARU's contracting moratorium.

Flyhalf Jack Debreczeni signed with Japan's Honda Heat. earlier this month, but his deal still leaves room for an Australian return.

Inman started his Super Rugby career with the Force, before joining the Rebels in the 2012 season, playing 79 games for the Melbourne franchise.

While there were concerns that a delay caused by the Australian moratorium would either force players in the vulnerable franchises to jump on an overseas deal or be left without any 2018 deal, it has not claimed any high-profile scalps yet.

Inman's Rebels teammate Sean McMahon is yet to confirm a decision over his future, believed to be on the verge of signing in Japan.

Contracted players for 2018 will have their deals honoured if their team is the one ultimately cut by the ARU, either through moving to another franchise or earning an early release to head offshore.

Force stars Adam Coleman and Dane Haylett-Petty have already committed their future to Australian rugby, with the lock and outside back both saying they won't be leaving Australian shores if the Force is the team cut.

Clubs have wasted little time in announcing re-signings since the moratorium was lifted, with plenty more movement yet to come.