Harlequins have confirmed that a deal has been finalised with Agen that will see Gabriel Ibitoye leave the club with immediate effect to join French Top14 club.
Agen are effectively paying a transfer fee for highly rated Ibitoye to avail of his service mid-season. The 22-year-old was considered a future England prospect but his move effectively ends any designs the former U20s star has on Test rugby.
A statement from Harlequins reads: “Following Ibitoye’s request to leave the London Club during rugby’s COVID-19 hiatus, Harlequins, who were committed to retaining the services of Ibitoye, have now agreed to let him join Agen after reaching a satisfactory compensation fee for the mid-season transfer.
“Harlequins head into the remainder of the postponed 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season extremely well resourced on the wing.
“With the long-awaited return from injury of England prospect Nathan Earle, the impressive Cadan Murley, the Champions Cup record try-scorer Chris Ashton, young South African star Tyrone Green (set to arrive the Club shortly) and the versatility of fullbacks Aaron Morris and Ross Chisholm and skilful centre Joe Marchant – the latter of whom has featured on the wing for the Blues during his loan spell in Super Rugby earlier this year – the Club heads towards rugby’s return at The Stoop on August 14 against Sale Sharks well-stocked on the wing.”
The Club recently welcomed back to training England’s most-capped full-back, Mike Brown, who is in line to make his return against Sale, nine months after his last appearance in the Quarters.
The Gallagher Premiership winger is the French club’s second recruit from England in recent weeks after they also snapped up the services of Noel Reid, one of the Leicester players who opted to leave Welford Road rather than accept a 25 per cent salary cut.
Delighted to finally conclude business with Ibitoye, Agen tweeted: “We can finally formalise the arrival of the young English nugget Gabriel Ibitoye in Agen for two seasons!
“This latest high-quality recruit completes our ambitious and promising recruitment of this off-season!”
Club president Jean-Francois Fonteneau has been recruiting ambitiously in the hope of improving a side that was placed 13th, in one of the relegation spots, when the 2019/20 season was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
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