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Four French clubs are chasing Anthony Watson's signature - reports

Reports in France suggest four Top 14 clubs are interested in signing the versatile back

Versatile England and Bath back Anthony Watson has been linked with a move to the Top 14, according to reports in France.

Broadcaster RMC Sport has said four big yet unnamed French clubs have shown an interest in the multi-positional player’s CV, whose contract at English Premiership side Bath is up at the end of the season, with the intention of bringing him to France for the 2019/20 season.

The club will start the season without their 24-year-old star, after he re-tore an Achilles tendon during pre-season.

Todd Blackadder called the new setback a “start-again injury,” caused as Watson returned to action after picking up the initial injury while playing for England in the 24-15 Six Nations loss to Ireland in March.

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No date has been suggested for his return to competitive action, but reports suggest the player has already given up any hopes of playing in England’s November internationals.

There’s no doubt that Watson’s pace and versatility – he can play at either fullback or on the wing – would interest wealthy French clubs. But whether the player would want to jeopardise his hopes of a place on the plane to Japan even for a big-money contract in France remains to be seen.

The claims of a possible move to France – home to the longest domestic top-flight professional rugby season in the world – also come soon after Watson told UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday he believes players should be limited to 20 games per season to combat the growing number of injuries in the game.

“You don’t want to see passive tackles,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t think changing the nature of the game is the answer.

“What’s difficult is playing 25 plus games per year and you end up playing at 75 or 80 per cent. These things aren’t decided by the players but I’d have thought 20 games maximum is the right number.”

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Four French clubs are chasing Anthony Watson's signature - reports