Former England winger Jonny May is off to France next season while All Blacks back-rower Akira Ioane and Scotland hooker George Turner have sealed moves to Japan.

Gloucester announced that May, who retired from international rugby after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, would be leaving the Premiership outfit at the end of the season.

Since then, several clubs have been linked with a move for the veteran flyer, including the likes of Saracens, but it was reported that he was more than likely heading to France, which has proved to be the case.

Jonny May signs for Soyaux

The 78-Test cap international has reportedly signed a two-year deal with Pro D2 club Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente, with the announcement to be made official at 17:00 UK time on Tuesday.

Angoulême finished 12th overall in the Pro D2, out of 16 clubs, with May’s arrival set to significantly boost their hopes of reaching the play-offs next season.

The 34-year-old leaves the Premiership having represented Gloucester and Leicester Tigers, including two stints at the former, since his debut in 2009.

May was one of five confirmed departees from the Cherry and Whites after a disappointing Premiership season, with Alex Hearle, Harry Elrington, Santi Socino and Adam Hastings all leaving the West Country outfit.

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George Turner heads to Kobe

Meanwhile, Scotland and Glasgow Warriors hooker Turner has been unveiled as the Kobelco Kobe Steelers’ latest signing.

The front-rower will join ex-All Black Brodie Retallick and former Highlanders fly-half Bryn Gatland at the club which former Glasgow and Wallabies boss Dave Rennie coaches.

“I’m really looking forward to playing for Kobe. I couldn’t pass up such a great opportunity to live and play in Japan,” Turner said in a statement.

“I’ve always wanted to go back since the World Cup. Kobe are a great team, and I can’t wait to add whatever I can to their success. It’s a wonderful adventure for myself but also my family, who will gain do much from the experience.

“Japanese rugby is super exciting and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge!”

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All Black heads to Japan

The Blues have confirmed that All Blacks forward Ioane will leave the Super Rugby Pacific team at the end of the season.

It brings an end to a 10-year career at the Blues for Ioane after he forced his way into the squad having come through the youth ranks at Auckland Grammar School.

“It means a lot, obviously I’m a born and bred Auckland boy and I never really thought about going anywhere else. This is home, it will always be home,” Ioane said in a video shared on the Blues’ social media channels.

“But, at the end of the day I’ve had to make a hard decision and I’ve decided to leave the Blues at the end of this year.

“A tough decision, (it) wasn’t easy. I just thought it was time. I’ve been here 10 years, since I was a young kid coming out of school. It’s something I never truly thought was possible, I’m truly grateful for the opportunity I’ve had.

“It’s going to suck leaving, but on to what I think is bigger and better things for me and where I want to be, when I want to finish rugby.”

It is yet to be confirmed which Japan Rugby League One side Ioane will be joining.

Ioane has represented the All Blacks on 21 occasions, his last appearance coming in November 2022, and under current World Rugby regulations, he will be able to switch international allegiances to Samoa next November.

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