A number of Montpellier Herault’s top stars are being linked with a move to the Gallagher Premiership. MHR came to an “amicable agreement” with the LNR over the latest salary cap inquisition, with Mohed Altrad’s outfit agreeing to stump up €3 million, and it’s being suggested that the French giants could be open to offloading players following their latest salary cap case.
While the exact transgression that the club were being accused of remains relatively unclear, it is now being suggested that they may need to balance the books on their star-studded team.
At three of their stars are now being linked with moves to the Premiership. The Rugby Paper reported over the weekend that Bath have World Cup-winning Springbok Handre Pollard as the number one target.
Bath currently have just one specialist flyhalf in Rhys Priestland. He is backed up by the experienced Josh Matavesi, who is more regularly found at centre and the highly-rated but extremely raw Tom De Glanville.
The report suggests the West Country side are again after Pollard, who they pursued unsuccessfully in 2019.
If they after Pollard he won’t come cheap. The 26-year-old is reputed to be on a contract that is worth close to £1,000,000 a season, making him one of the highest-paid rugby players on the planet. However, if they fail to land Pollard, the similarly well paid Johan Goosen, who can cover 10 and 15, is said to be their second choice.
If one of the pair did leave, it would go some distance toward balancing Montpellier’s books, if they are in danger of a cap breach. It’s worth noting that Goosen is listed as a utility back in their squad, and new signing Alex Lozowski, who left Saracens earlier this year, is listed as a flyhalf.
On the flip side of the equation, Bath could potentially afford to splash cash outside of the Gallagher Premiership cap if said new recruit is counted as one as a marquee signing, a space freed up by the departure of recently retired Francois Louw.
Away from Bath, Wasps were are apparently in talks with a South African who can play both in the second and back row. One theory online is that the player in negotiations is giant Montpellier 5.5, Jacques du Plessis. The 6’7, 120kg forward has been a mainstay of the MHR pack since signing in 2015 and can play both positions.
Earlier this week Lee Blackett confirmed that the hulking Will Rowlands is to stay at the club, defying rumours linking him with a move to the Dragons in Wales. Much fancied young gun Thibaud Flament is also staying put. Together with England veteran Joe Launchbury, club stalwart James Gaskell and the up and the up and coming Theo Vukasinovic and Myles Edwards, Wasps engine room larder looks well stocked.
Montpellier declined to comment.
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