Australian World Cup finalist Sekope Kepu says he’s excited at starting a new adventure in France with Bordeaux-Begles.
The Wallaby prop, who has signed a three-year deal from NSW Waratahs, was officially unveiled as the Top 14 side’s latest recruit on Tuesday.
“It’s a great privilege and honour to finally be here and start a new journey in my rugby career,” he told a press conference.
“It’s exciting now that everything’s finished for me in Australia. I’m trying something different, playing in France and enjoying the lifestyle here and challenging myself to play in the Top 14 and be a better player and better person.
“It’s going to be tough, nothing’s going to be easy, but it’s all part of trying to be a better player.
“I know this is one of the top competitions in the world, I’ll try to fit myself into the team and achieving some goals as a team.
“I just want to be part of that journey.”
He told his new club’s fans and teammates he wanted to “bring my experience of international rugby and of the southern hemisphere” to French rugby.
The 29-year-old added: “For me part of the decision to come was to play in French competition and test myself against some of the best props in the world – to be in scrums every weekend against French internationals.
“My family’s really excited, nothing’s easy in life but over the next month or two we’ll settle in.”
Kepu’s new teammates include Samoan hooker Ole Avei and Fijian winger Metuisela Talebula.
Before arriving in the south-west city he said he’d sounded out the club’s former Argentine hooker, Mario Ledesma, who was a scrums coach for Australia at the World Cup where they where beaten in the final by New Zealand.
“He told me only good things, that Bordeaux was a beautiful city to live in.”
Bordeaux manager Raphael Ibanez said they had been tracking Kepu “for a long time”.
“He’s a prop of international standing, very complete and efficient in his position. It’s a real gain for the club”.