Carl Fearns remains in France after signing Pro D2 deal with England’s former scrum half

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Carl Fearns returns to Pro D2, the level of rugby he was introduced to when he joined Lyon in 2015 from Bath. After five years in the Top 14 club, the current 31-year-old has chosen to join ex-British semi-melee Richard Hill in Rouen.

The Norman club, guided through the ranks of the Federale by Hill, were in the relegation zone when the French season was interrupted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the cancellation of the 2019/20 season gave them a reprieve and they will be again in the second French level in 2020/21.

Fearns had feared he would not be able to find a club due to the current recruiting crisis caused by the pandemic, but his future is now secure for the next two seasons after he decides to stay in France – although at a lower level.

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A club tweet said: “Carl Fearns, last in Lyon, will settle for two seasons in Rouen. Carl will bring all his determination and experience to help the club continue to grow. Thumbs up. Welcome him to Normandy! “

Fearns, who played 52 Top 14 and 19 second-level games, first made his mark with Sale, spending three years in Manchester before moving to Bath. He had used social media earlier this month to confirm that his stay in Lyon was over.

“What a strange way to end what has been an incredible five seasons at this incredible club,” he wrote. “I wish we had the opportunity to try to go all the way. I will always be proud of what we have achieved during my stay here.

“I arrived in Lyon at a time when I didn’t particularly like my rugby and I felt very welcome and for the most part from the start. Many thanks to the fans for your continued support. For the guys, continue the course, I’m sure the title is on its way. Alas, all good things come to an end. “

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