Mid-Season Medical Jokers in the Top 14
There are plenty of mid-season replacements to talk about so check out our list of players brought in as injury cover
As you would expect during the 2017-2018 rugby season, the sheer amount of injuries affecting every team is incredibly high. And the natural result of this is that these players need to be replaced by other players in the squad, or the club needs to make signings to provide injury cover.
The signing of a player to cover injuries is otherwise known as a medical joker in France. These signings are synonymous with the Top 14, so at Rugby World we have put together a list of the biggest mid-season medical joker signings.
Luke McAlister – Clermont Auvergne
In November, former Toulouse fly-half McAlister was loaned out to Clermont after their starting fly-half Camille Lopez broke his ankle. McAlister was the third choice fly-half at his current club Toulon behind Francois Trinh-Duc, and Anthony Belleau, and at this stage in his long career, at 34, he would just want to play as much as possible.
Nick Frisby – Bordeaux
Despite being under contract with the Queensland Reds until 2019, new coach Brad Thorn told Frisby he was not part of his plans at scrum-half, with James Tuttle and Moses Sorovi jumping ahead of him. For a period of time, Frisby was the second best Australian scrum-half frequently, coming on to replace Will Genia in Tests. He will now have to re-start things in Bordeaux.
Jarrad Hoeata – Montpellier
Former All Black Hoeata has been brought in to cover for injured youngster Jacques du Plessis, who has been ruled out the entire season for Vern Cotter’s side. Hoeata will be familiar to those who saw him play for Cardiff Blues recently.
Toa Halafihi – Lyon
Snubbed by all of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, 24-year-old Halafihi signed with Lyon when his future in New Zealand became unclear. Providing cover for Englishman Carl Fearns, who has been ruled out for the season, the youngster showed great form in the Mitre 10 Cup for Taranaki, which goes some way to explain why the French side snapped him up.
Bjorn Basson – Oyonnax
Due to an injury to Matthew Hopper, Basson was signed fairly recently and has had a positive impact scoring two tries in six appearances. He has not signed a contract with any Super Rugby sides either so for the foreseeable time, France is where his future lies.
Gurthro Steenkamp – Stade Francais
The South African prop was brought in as a medical joker ahead of the first week of the new season. His contract was up with Toulouse but Stade Francais signed him after fellow Springbok Heinke van der Merwe went down with an injury.
Alby Mathewson – Toulon
Mathewson, has become a pivotal member of the Toulon side putting in excellent performances acting as medical cover for the French outfit. He went on a run of three tries in three games and has given them an experienced and commanding head at the nine position.