French tighthead Rabah Slimani set to join Leinster, confirms Clermont coach

Experienced prop will swap places with Michael Ala’alatoa as Leinster add a third NIQ player to their ranks ahead of next season

Rabah Slimani will join Leinster ahead of the upcoming season. Photograph: Dave Winter/Icon Sport/Getty Images

Rabah Slimani has completed a medical with Leinster ahead of joining the province on a two-year deal, according to reports in France.

Slimani, a French international tighthead prop, has turned down an offer to join the coaching staff of his now former club Clermont in order to join Leinster, according to the French club’s head coach Christophe Urios.

Speaking to La Montagne, Urios described Slimani’s impending move as an “incredible opportunity”. Slimani confirmed to the outlet that he has undergone a medical with Leinster and is awaiting final approval of the deal.

“Last season, Rabah [Slimani] signed a coaching contract with us,” explained Urios. “He told us of his desire to play again, but we could not match the two years offered to him by Leinster.


“We now have to break this contract between us and we will not keep it. I told him it was an incredible opportunity for him to play there.”

Slimani, aged 34, swaps places with Samoan international prop Michael Ala’alatoa who joins Clermont from Leinster this summer. The Frenchman has been capped 57 times by his country, his last international appearance coming in 2019.

He played over 100 times before Clermont in a seven-year span having previously amassed almost 190 appearances for Stade Francais.

Slimani is Leinster’s third non-Irish qualified signing ahead of next season after the province already announced that RG Snyman and Jordie Barrett would join the province.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist