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Courtney Lawes rumours swirl as England star visits French club's facilities

By Ian Cameron
Northampton Saints's Courtney Lawes during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens on December 30, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Rumours continue to swirl around Coutnery Lawes as French media report that the England and Northampton Saints veteran was spotted visiting the facilities of French club Provence Rugby.

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RugbyRama report that during a visit on Saturday, the 34-year-old toured the club’s facilities and held discussions with members of the Provence staff. The talks centred around the club’s ambitious plans and the possibility of Lawes joining on a one or two-year contract.

This development has fueled speculation that the decorated back-five forward might is seriously considering a move away from the Gallagher Premiership. Lawes, who has spent his entire career with Northampton Saints in the East Midlands, sees his contract with the club expiring next June.

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Joe Simmonds on Life at PAU

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Provence, under the chairmanship of Denis Philippon, has been on an upward trajectory in recent years and is not shying away from a desire to break into France’s top flight.

The club has already secured the signings of two fly-halves, Jules Plisson and Thomas Soulan, and is now reportedly in talks with Lawes, the former captain of the England national team, to bolster its back row. The club is also eyeing reinforcements in this area as Bilel Taieb, Carl Axtens, Jessy Jegerlehner, Nicolas Mousties, and Teimana Harrison (a former teammate of Lawes) are all nearing the end of their contracts.

There’s no doubt that Lawes, who turns 35 next month, remains a formidable force on the field. He not only played as a starter in the last World Cup for England but has also donned the British Lions jersey on multiple occasions.

Boasting 105 caps for England, the hard-hitting lock also been linked with a move to Toulon, although those reports have been totally rubbished by the club.

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If he did leave it would be another blow for the Gallagher Premiership, which has seen an ongoing exodus of stars to France over the last 12 months. On Friday it was revealed that England captain Owen Farrell is on the brink of agreeing a two-year contract with Racing 92.

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