'It's all a load of rubbish. There's no truth behind it' - Zach Mercer
Mercer – who is contracted through to 2023 with MHR – was a shock departure from Bath last year, a move that preceded Stuart Hooper’s current season from hell. Bath are rooted to the floor of the Gallagher Premiership, with one solitary win to their name all season.
Mercer meanwhile is enjoying his time in the French top flight with Phillipe Saint-Andre’s side, who are enjoying their best campaign in a number of seasons.
The 24-year-old also says getting the backing of coaches, support he didn’t receive at former club Bath.
“It’s a lot more physical. The physicality of the league is unbelievable,” Mercer told The Rugby Pod. “Every team is difficult. Every week is a physical Test.
“I’m playing. I’m starting. I’m getting the backing from the coaches which is something I massively missed at Bath. I’ve got the backing from these guys.
“They allow me to be me and I just got on the field and play my brand of rugby and it seems to be working.”
“It was Castre at home. I didn’t know he [Eddie Jones] was there. I saw him on the big screen. I was a bit like hang-on, here we go.
“I expected him after the game to just kind of disappear. He waited in the bar after, well in the food room. I had a really good chat to him.
“I think he’s respected me more since I moved to France. I think he respects that I took my own initiative and went to go and develop myself.”
Jones later mentioned Mercer in an England press conference.
“It’s great to be name-checked by Eddie. Obviously, at the moment I am in France and can’t play for England. I know where I am this season. I’m in Montpellier and I don’t have to worry about international selection.”
In recent weeks Mercer has been linked with a move back to the Gallagher Premiership, with Bristol, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers all apparently showing interest in the loose forward’s services. Mercer however states that he would be fulfilling his current contract with Montpellier.
“It’s all a load of rubbish really. There’s no truth behind it [the rumours].
“I’ve got this year and next year and an option of a plus one to stay so. I’m here in Montpellier and I’m staying. Obviously this time next year there will be a slightly different discussion.
“Like I said I really enjoying my rugby. I still have aspirations to play for England, but look at Steffon Armitage. So did he and he stayed in France, so I’m not saying that’s not an option.
“I am still young. I still have aspirations to play for England and I have been very vocal with Montpellier about that. Discussions are going to happen next year.
“I do believe this team this year can go and win a Top 14.”
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