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Fissler Confidential: Exeter eye Welsh star as Scottish one exits

By Neil Fissler
Jonny Gray of Exeter Chiefs receives medical treatment during the Heineken Champions Cup Semi Finals match between La Rochelle and Exeter Chiefs at Stade Matmut Atlantique on April 30, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Tonga lock Vaea Fifita is being marketed to clubs in France and Japan, with the Scarlets seemingly willing to offload his estimated £400,000 a year salary from their wage bill.


The Scarlets pulled off what was seen at the time as a stunning transfer coup when they signed the former All Blacks forward from Wasps in January 2022.

But the Scarlets, who have lost nearly £5million in the last two years, are hoping someone takes Fifita – the 31-year-old who played for the Hurricanes and can also operate in the back row at blindside flanker and No8 – off their hands.

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White explains the team selection for the Northampton Saints face-off

Video Spacer

Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White explains the team selection for the Northampton Saints face-off

Bath are believed to be interested in a move for loosehead Francois van Wyk, who was confirmed on Friday to be leaving Welford Road when his contract runs out later this summer.

Van Wyk, who will be 33 in July, played for Western Province and Western Force before spending four years with Northampton Saints and then signing for the Tigers.


A member of the Tigers side that recently lost the Premiership Rugby Cup final to Gloucester, he is keen to stay in the United Kingdom and Bath are looking to strengthen their front row options next season.

Exeter Chiefs are among the clubs waiting for out-of-contract Wales outside centre Mason Grady to decide where he will play next season.


The 22-year-old half-brother of former Wales centre Corey Allen has only 12 international caps, making him ineligible for Test selection if he calls time on his Cardiff career after playing less than 50 times for the club.

Cardiff are desperate for him to stay in the Welsh capital next season, especially as they have already lost scrum-half Tomos Williams to Gloucester, while Bath have also been sniffing around him.

Edinburgh tighthead Luan de Bruin is being touted for a move away from the Scottish capital when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old ex-South Africa U20s international started his career at the Cheetahs before spending a season at Leicester and moving to Edinburgh in 2021.


De Bruin has suffered from injuries since moving to Scotland. He has only played four games this season but appeared at tighthead in last week’s Challenge Cup win over Bayonne.

Winger Tyler Offiah, the 17-year-old 6ft 2in son of Rugby League legend Martin, will join Bath on a three-year deal when he finishes his A levels this summer.


The England U18s cap, who was in the London Irish academy until they went bust, has been playing for the London & South Central academy and Wellington College this season.

Several clubs were interested in signing him, but his father’s former club, Wigan Warriors, apparently wasn’t among them. In September, he will study politics and international relations at the University of Bath.

Exeter have sent highly rated former Wales youth international hooker Iestyn Harris out on loan to Championship high flyers Cornish Pirates.

The 25-year-old has struggled with a neck injury this season but is helping out the injury-hit Pirates, who are without knee injury victim Morgan Nelson and Rhys Williams (head injury) to get game time.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs are set to confirm the departure of Scotland lock Jonny Gray. He has been out of action all season with an injury he picked up at the end of last season.

Scotland centre Matt Scott, who was announced on Friday as leaving Leicester when his contract expires at the end of the season, is eying a move abroad. Scott has been attracting interest from clubs in France and also Japan for next season.

Newcastle Falcons look set to keep fly-half Brett Connon when his contract runs out at the end of the season after on-and-off discussions.

The 27-year-old has scored 88 points in the 15 games that he has played for the club this season. He could stay following Louie Johnson’s departure to Saracens.

Ace wheeler dealer Steve Diamond has been working hard behind the scenes to improve his squad for next season, with a centre and lock high on his wanted list.

Northampton Saints-bound Melbourne Rebels back-rower Josh Kemeny believes his move to Franklin’s Gardens could benefit his prospects of winning more Wallabies caps in the long run.

Kemeny shocked Rugby Australia when he signed a two-year deal with Saints and could benefit from any proposed changes to their overseas selection policy.

But he has told the Australian media the move “is something that is going to help me develop as a player, and hopefully an international player”.



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