Despite it being far from an action packed week of Rugby, due to the cancelled European fixtures, there has still been plenty to chew on with the news leaked from the rumour mill regarding transfers and new contracts. We've seen ex-England internationals jump ship, coaches parting ways with their projects, shock returns of Premiership titans and unusual moves from struggling sides... What more could you want?
Freddie Burns On The Move?
Much was made of the Japanese excursion that Burns found himself on last season. After a disappointing run of poor form at Bath, pushing him well out of the starting squad, he decided to move to Shokki Shuttles, like many others have, to rejuvenate his once exciting career. Since that move, it's been far from plain sailing. A global pandemic later has left Burns feeling isolated and alone over in the Far East, looking for a return to spend time with family. Leicester Tigers have reportedly opened a dialogue with Freddie Burns to discuss a shock return to Welford Road. With George Ford on form and finally finding his best form again, I can't see this being the best move for either side. Burns is an attacking option and a bit of a maverick; he has shown glimpses of world class talent in both the club and international game. I would prefer to see him move to a club such as Worcester to replace the departing Duncan Weir, or even to Exeter to interchange with Simmonds and provide the Steenson role.
Source: The Mail Online
Harlequins Make It Count
There has been absolute turmoil over in West London with Harlequins parting ways with their Head Coach Paul Gustard, Ashton leaving to Worcester, the announcement of Marler's transfer request, Smith and Brown both rumoured with moves away from the club and much more. However, we do have a silver-lining to this ongoing story, that being the contract renewals of the Chisholm brothers. Both Ross and James have become club legends during their time at Harlequins and this must be a huge boost to the dressing room.
Ollie Lawrence Goes North
An absolute bonkers rumour this one, but England hopeful Ollie Lawrence is a transfer target for the resurgent Newcastle Falcons ahead of the 2022 campaign. If this were to happen, it would perhaps be the best move we've seen in the last three years. Lawrence and Burrell would make for a terrifyingly abrasive, efficient and powerful centre pairing. I can't see Worcester letting go of Lawrence easily, especially with van der Merwe and Ashton on their way; surely that backline would begin to look like top 6 quality with all of those names involved?
Source: The Rugby Paper
Photo Copyright Credit: The Worcester News
Bath Replacement For Mercer
The news of Zach Mercer leaving must have disappointed Bath fans tremendously. The young back-rower has been one of the standout players for them this season and has, at times, been one of the best ball carrying options in the Premiership. Bath are now being heavily linked with Stormers back rower Jaco Coetzee. The young player was recently seen being stretchered off after his team's loss to the Sharks. I'm sure they will be waiting to hear how bad that injury is before they make any formal engagements. If I were them, I would put a cheeky bid in for someone under-utilised in the Premiership... What about Thomas Young? Looks to be second fiddle to Willis and Barbeary at Wasps, why not take him on loan and have some assured quality to replace Mercer...
Source: Rugby Pass
Best Week Ever
As I sit here on a Tuesday night, wrapping up the weeks transfer rumours whilst tucked up in bed during another lockdown, it's satisfying to know at least someone out there is having a good week. Paolo Odogwu became the Premiership stat king, with most metres gained, tries scored and defenders beaten after the Bath win. He then got named in Eddie Jones' England squad, and now to top it all off, had just signed a contract renewal with Wasps. He revealed on the Rugby pod that this has been in motion now for a couple of weeks and was done and dusted a while back, but the official announcement couldn't have come at a better time. Congratulations big Paolo!
Let's Play Clew-do
Yes I know that pun was terrible, yes I won't do it again and yes I understand that I'm lucky that you're still reading this. That pun didn't come from nowhere though, with Newcastle Falcons interested in signing the exciting London Irish Fly Half Theo Brophy-Clews. The 23 year old has already wrapped up 70 first team appearances now and comes from a prestigious background having represented England at the under 20 level. This would be another fantastic signing for a Falcons side that have a very clear and precise transfer policy of signing players with pedigree in need of a next step.