Australian youngster Perese signs for Bayonne despite drugs charge

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Bayonne (France) (AFP)

Australian back Izaia Perese signed for French Top 14 club Bayonne on Saturday, despite being released by rugby league side the Brisbane Broncos over a drugs charge.

The 23-year-old, who can play either as a winger or a centre, was charged on a drugs-related offence earlier this year and saw his contract ripped up by NRL side the Broncos.

Released on bail, he was the beneficiary of a leniency measure allowing him to leave Australia.

Perese previously played for Super Rugby outfit the Queensland Reds, scoring four tries in 17 appearances and attracting the attention of then-Australia coach Michael Cheika.

He is expected to arrive in France in July.

The French Top 14 season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the 2020-21 campaign due to get under way in September.