Pau - Ex-All Black prop Carl Hayman, considered one of the most devastating scrummagers in world rugby in his prime, is to lace up his boots again for the second team of an amateur French fifth division club.
Hayman moved to France in 2010 to play for Toulon, where he retired five years later at the age of 35 having won three European Cup crowns and one French league title.
But the prop, capped 45 times by New Zealand and now forwards coach with Top 14 club Pau, has been persuaded to turn out for nearby club Bizanos, who ply their trade in Federale 3, La Republique des Pyrenees reported Friday.
The now 37-year-old was taken along to training by Pau's Irish video analyst Paddy Sullivan, who plays centre for Bizanos.
"The players couldn't get over it when they saw who was arriving. No one knew he was coming. It was an incredible moment," said Bizanos coach Michel Verge.
Verge confirmed that Hayman will now register as a player with Bizanos, but more to play with the second team.
"He warned us that his commitments to Pau will limit his availability," he said.
"We know he won't be a full-time player, but for the club it's great."