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Stuart Olding set for early Connacht showdown as Paddy Jackson's proposed Perpignan move in doubt

By John Fallon

Stuart Olding will not have long to wait before he faces Irish opposition as his new club Brive will take on Connacht in August.

Indeed, Olding, who had his Ulster contract revoked by the IRFU along with Paddy Jackson, could make his debut for Brive against Connacht in the pre-season friendly.

The game will take place on August 11 at Arnac Pompadour, about 40kms north of Brive.

That game could also be Andy Friend's first in charge of Connacht.

Brive, relegated from the Top 14 a few weeks ago, have appointed former Ulster and Irish lock Jeremy Davidson as their new coach.

Meanwhile, Jackson's possible move to Perpignan could be thwarted by the newly promoted side also chasing South African international Elton Jantjies.

Ulster had identified Jantjies as a possible replacement for Jackson but met a lukewarm response from the IRFU given that he is not Irish-qualified.

The former French champions, finally promoted after four seasons in Pro D2, are keen to strengthen their squad for their return to the top flight and have a big budget to spend.

The club, which was captained last season by former Munster centre Lifeimi Mafi, who has now retired, yesterday signed Australian centre Afusipa Taumoepeau - who helped Castres defeat Montpellier in the Top 14 final on Saturday - on a three-year deal.

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