Bath Rugby have reportedly set their sights on Harlequins standoff and England prospect Marcus Smith – at least according to reports coming from the UK.
Bath have been looking for a flyhalf in recent seasons, with Freddy Burns leaving for Japan and Rhys Priestland’s future with the club not always entirely clear. The Welsh veteran had at one stage been heading to the door, before both parties did a u-turn.
Now the Daily Mail say Smith is firmly in their sights. The Harlequin was one of a number of players who had to take a hefty 25 per cent pay cut at the club due to the impact of the pandemic. According to the newspaper the playmaker has a get out clause in his contract which could facilitate an early release from the club. Smith signed a long term deal in 2018 as an 18-year-old.
Smith’s star has waned a little at Test level, with the 21-year-old falling down Eddie Jones’ England pecking order in the last 12 months. This could potentially be a bonus for Bath, as it would free up the flyhalf during international windows.
It isn’t only Bath that are interested in Smith either. According to Midi Olympique, Lyon are also chasing the 10, who has yet to be capped by England but who has played for an England XV.
Multiple reports had linked the Bath with Handre Pollard, until the Springbok finally put them to bed in August with an interview in France. “That is false news. I’ve still got two years left in Montpellier and I’m very happy here and I’m hoping to stay even longer,” Pollard told a press conference launching the new Top 14 season.
“It is very frustrating but it happens a lot. You can’t let it get to you.
“Personally I’m really happy here, my wife’s happy here, I’m really enjoying it here so there’s none of that going on,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wasps have been linked with exciting back three talent Santiago Cordero. The Rugby Paper Cordero is coming off contract in France with Bordeaux Begles and has understandably caught the eye of head coach Lee Blackett.
The 26-year-old, who can play either wing or full-back, has been capped 33 times by the Pumas, but was sensationally dropped for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Wasps recruitment had been modest over the summer and may see fit to splash some cash on the Argentine, who has a track record of destroying defences.
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