Bath react to reports that Toulon are courting Jonathan Joseph even though he is under contract until summer 2022
Bath have reacted to speculation that Top 14 outfit Toulon are looking to recruit England outcast Jonathan Joseph and could potentially buy the soon-to-be 30-year-old out of the final year of his existing contract with the Gallagher Premiership club.
Joseph last played for England in their November 2020 Autumn Nations Cup win over Wales. An injury ruled him out of the following weekend’s final versus France and he was then axed by Eddie Jones for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, an ordeal the midfielder recently suggested signalled the end of his Test level career.
“As a player, I’m a bit of a realist and there are not many players that drop out of that squad that get back in,” said Joseph about his England situation in the lead-up to Bath’s recent Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Montpellier.
“There is probably only a handful of players I could name that have managed to get back in. I’m not waiting by the phone, waiting on a phone call. I’m at Bath, I’m loving it here and I’m trying to put in the best performances I can with this squad, trying to make this team a great team and to push on.
“Initially it was hard, first time properly being dropped. The first week was quite tough. It is hard to take but you get back on the horse and I’m still playing the game that I have loved since I was a kid. I’m at a great club with huge potential. Life could be a lot worse.”
They won't be known as Saxons when they pitch up in Leicester in June https://t.co/dIhl4Eo5DC
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 11, 2021
Despite being under contract at Bath until summer 2022, Joseph’s suggestion that his England ambitions could be over piqued interest on the other side of the Channel and Midi Olympique have reported that contact was made by Toulon to sound out the midfielder’s availability.
They claim that Bath’s demand of compensation valued at €150,000 resulted in Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre reconsidering his options, but the report ended by stating that talks were not completely over in a busy Top 14 market where the CVs of Jonathan Davies and Ryan Crotty were reportedly doing the rounds in France.
Asked at his weekly media briefing what the state of play was regarding Joseph, Bath boss Stuart Hooper said: “I have seen what has been written but he is contracted to us. Evidently with our players, whether they are our players or big players around the world that people want to link with us then that seems to happen quite a lot. But as ever he is contracted and if there is ever any more to talk about I will do.”
Quizzed on whether any potential new recruits were due to be announced soon by Bath, Hooper added: “Pretty much all of it has been done and we are just waiting for the right time for the guys involved to release it.”
“I spoke to Rory Best and he got everything fixed…They look after you very well in Ireland. I was very impressed by how they looked after him, let him get everything he needed to get fixed and helped him rehab and get looked after. We don’t do that over here." pic.twitter.com/db0yee7rf5
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 9, 2021
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