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A new favourite to sign Kyle Eastmond emerges as League deal looks dashed

Kyle Eastmond’s desire to stay in the Rugby Union and reap the rewards of a lucrative contract are thought to be the main reason behind contract negotiations with Warrington Wolves reaching a standstill.

According to reports from France, Eastmond had all but signed a deal to return to League, but his unwillingness to put pen to paper has seen the chance of a return to his former sport wither in recent weeks.

Treize Mondial reported that Eastmond was to be signed by Warrington Wolves after Wasps did not renew his contract.

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Eastmond would have been signed as a marquee player (two are now allowed in the 13 man code), as Super League’s salary cap of £2 million would have left precious little room for a player who was thought to have been on in the region of £400,000 at Wasps.

However Warrington grew tired of Eastmond’s refusal to commit to the deal – which was waiting to be signed – and described the negotiations as coming to a standstill.

The reason for the Oldham-born centre’s reticence appears to have emerged, with a new favourite to win his signature being heavily rumoured.

Although previously linked with Sale Sharks, Eastmond is – according to Neil Fissler of the Rugby Paper – now understood to be in negotiations with Leicester Tigers.

Rumours of a move to Welford Road took off this week after it was revealed that Matt Toomua looks likely to leave the midlands club and return to Australia in time for the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that the sought after Wallaby is set to sign for the Australian Super Rugby franchise – the Melbourne Rebels.

Tigers need a high-quality centre replacement and Eastmond could be a very good fit for the Matt O’Connor coached side.

With pre-season well underway across the Premiership, time is running out for the talented Eastmond.

The dual-code international centre left Bath for the Ricoh Arena during 2016, and subsequently played 23 times for Wasps, scoring four tries.

Undoubtedly talented, many have put the 5’7, 85kg back’s lack of size as being a stumbling block in his falling out of favour at international level.

The former St Helen’s scrumhalf did pick up six caps for England, all of which came at centre, the last being in November 2014. He was overlooked for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in favour of code-hopping flop Sam Burgess, a disappointment that greatly frustrated the then 25-year-old.

If the Tigers move falls through there may well still be the possibility of a move to the Top 14, where he has already been linked with Toulouse, who lost the services of Gael Fickou to Stade Francais.

Now 28, he certainly has lots more to offer, whichever code he chooses.

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A new favourite to sign Kyle Eastmond emerges as League deal looks dashed | RugbyPass