Cook Islands international Johnathon Ford sees France return confirmed on back of Featherstone Rovers departure

Ben Olawumi
Johnathon Ford

Johnathon Ford in action for Featherstone Rovers in 2023 - Alamy

Johnathon Ford has now officially joined French Elite Championship Limoux Grizzlies on a deal until the end of the 2023/24 season following his departure from Featherstone Rovers.

Veteran half Ford – who began his career in the NRL with Sydney Roosters having been born in New South Wales – was one of 17 to leave Post Office Road as part of a mass exodus following Featherstone’s failure to seal promotion up to Super League, losing out in the play-offs having romped the Championship.

That exit tally now stands at 19 with both Chris Hankinson and ex-Warrington Wolves youngster Ellis Longstaff moving on at the beginning of this month.

As tipped to do so by French news outlet L’Independent, at 34, Ford has now returned to France and will form part of Limoux’s squad when the campaign over there resumes in the New Year.

Cook Islands international Johnathon Ford sees France return confirmed on back of Featherstone Rovers departure

The nine-time Cook Islands international previously spent 11 years in the South of France with Toulouse Olympique, debuting in October 2011 when Sylvain Houles’ side were still plying their trade in the French Elite.

Limoux confirmed Ford’s return to the same division with a post on Instagram – @xiii_limouxin – yesterday, as below.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by XIII Limouxin (@xiii_limouxin)

Roughly, the Grizzlies’ caption on that post translates to: “⚡️ JOHNATHON FORD (FEATHERSTONE ROVERS)

“Cook Islands international halfback joins the 🔴⚫️.

“Johno is a regular in France, playing for nearly 11 years at Toulouse Olympique (190 matches – 53 tries) before emigrating in 2021 to England and Featherstone.

“A great architect of the rise to the Super League and captain of the TO in 2021, he also achieved the double with the Toulouse club in 2014, and did it again in the Championship the following year.

“Welcome Johno!”

As things stand, Limoux sit 3rd in the French Elite Championship having won six and lost two of their league games so far this season. The Grizzlies return to action on January 13, 2024, when they host 5th-placed Lezignan.

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