The vultures are beginning to circle for a number of the England stars who may be turning their back on international rugby after the Rugby World Cup next year.
Ben Te’o, who joined Worcester Warriors in 2016, is in a contract season at the West Midlands club and has been the subject of much interest from teams looking to bolster their midfield options next year.
With Te’o set to turn 32 next month, the upcoming RWC could signal the end of his international career and if he is keen to sign one last big deal before hanging up his boots, a move to France could be on the cards.
RugbyPass understands that the Top 14 trio of Racing 92, Toulouse and Toulon are all interested in Te’o, whose value has lessened at Sixways due to the potency of Ryan Mills and Francois Venter in the club’s centre spots, as well as the rises to prominence of homegrown talents Ollie Lawrence and Will Butler.
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Moves to the south of France have reinvigorated plenty of players in the latter stages of their careers and it could do the same for Te’o, who has faced his fair share of injury problems since making that 2016 move to Worcester. Should France not take Te’o’s fancy, RugbyPass understands that there is also interest from multiple Japanese clubs in the Top League.
Between the injuries, the regular international call-ups and a salary that rises above £500k with all add-ons and bonuses, it’s been a frustrating two-and-a-half years so far for the club who, whilst not relishing losing a player of Te’o’s calibre, seem happy with the other options they have and may be better served directing the funds to other areas of their squad, where the need to strengthen is more pressing.
The former rugby league player has picked up 16 England caps over the last two years, as well as starring on the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, and will be keen to finish on a high with club and country, should a move to France or Japan materialise over the coming months.
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