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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 09:37 UK

Balshaw signs deal with Biarritz

Iain Balshaw
Balshaw has scored 23 tries in 60 appearances for Gloucester

Gloucester's Iain Balshaw has joined the exodus of English players to France by agreeing terms with Biarritz.

Balshaw, who can play wing or full-back, began his career at Bath and joined Gloucester from Leeds in 2006.

He has won 33 caps for England but has slipped down the pecking order as injuries have taken their toll.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Biarritz, who are close to securing a place in next season's Heineken Cup despite a poor campaign.

Balshaw's final game for Gloucester was the EDF Energy Cup semi-final victory against Ospreys when he scored the only try of the game in a 17-0 victory.


A knee injury sustained in that game ruled him out of the club's poor performance in the final against Cardiff and the disappointing conclusion to the league campaign, when they slipped out of play-off contention.

The 2003 World Cup winner had previously stated his desire to stay at Kingsholm despite being linked with a move to Racing Metro.

But after 60 appearances for the Cherry and Whites over the course of three years he has decided to move on and joins fellow Englishmen Magnus Lund and new signing Ayoola Erinle in south west France.

As well as Leicester centre Erinle, Wasps international trio James Haskell, Tom Palmer and Riki Flutey have also signed lucrative deals in France for next season.

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