A club may have taken the lead in the race to sign one of European rugby’s most prized forward assets – Alun Wyn Jones.
Speculation has been rife all year that the Ospreys and Wales talisman could be lured away from Swansea following the Rugby World Cup and as the season draws to a close, many fans have resigned themselves to the prospect of losing the secondrow to a lucrative contract outside of Wales.
Bears head coach Pat Lam had suggested that they were not going to look for any big name signings going into their second season in the Premiership since promotion, but it appears they might make an exception for Jones.
After losing former Wallabies skipper James Horwill this season, Harlequins fans are calling for Jones to make the move to southwest London after the World Cup, as he could be one of the two players outside of the salary cap.
The 33-year-old has been with the Ospreys for the entirety of his career so far, and has not opted for a more lucrative contract in France or England that some of him compatriots have done over the years. However, many Welsh fans feel that the 125-cap lock deserves a move away in the final years of his career.
With Warren Gatland set to coach the British and Irish Lions in 2021 in South Africa, Jones is the favourite to lead the team in what would be his fourth tour, which is why some feel he may stay in Wales. However, as he has over 60 caps for his country, that would not rule him out of national selection if he were to move after the World Cup.
In May Ospreys head coach Allan Clarke told WalesOnline regarding speculation of Alun Wyn Jones departure that: “That’s speculation that sells papers. The bottom line is that’s what it is, it’s speculation.
“It could always be somebody’s last game, whether through the unfortunate circumstances of an injury. You have got to live the moments. Nobody associated with the Ospreys is talking about Alun Wyn’s last game.|”
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