BREAKING: Second Premiership side enter the race to sign Anthony Watson - Ruck

BREAKING: Second Premiership side enter the race to sign Anthony Watson

According to Declan Kidney, the director of rugby at London Irish, attempting to recruit Anthony Watson, an English wing player, to the club could be challenging due to the £5m salary cap imposed on Premiership teams.

London Irish had been rumored to be interested in signing their former academy player, but they are facing strong competition from Saracens and Castres, a French club.

He said: “There are lots of players come to us through agents and before a big game (against Saracens on Sunday) I wouldn’t be going into speculation about one player.

“Anthony is playing well for Leicester and has played well for England and is an old boy at the club but like a lot of players you have to see who you can fit in the cap.

“He is a very good player and there are a lot of good players out there and I am also very happy with the group of players I have here. We have a few tough selection decision going into Sunday and when you look at our back three players overall it is not a case of who do pick it is who do you leave out is the hard part.

“We have some exceptionally good players and that is depth of squad we are trying to build up over recent years and why it is no surprise where we are. We just need to close out a few deals on the pitch.”

Vunipola staying:

Furthermore, it has been reported by Telegraph Sport that Billy Vunipola, who was being pursued by clubs in Japan and France, is now expected to stay with Saracens for the 2023-4 season. 

However, with a tighter salary cap in place in the Premiership, retaining both Watson and Vunipola, as well as the arrival of Tom Willis from Union Bordeaux Begles, will have implications for Saracens. 

It is possible that as a result, veteran players such as Sean Maitland, Duncan Taylor, and Jackson Wray, who are beloved by the club, may depart this summer.

 London Irish set for spending spree under new new ownership:

An American consortium is poised to take over London Irish, the debt-ridden Premiership club. However, the consortium must first pass the Rugby Football Union’s fit and proper persons test.

Negotiations between the consortium and the current owner, Mick Crossan, who had initially offered to give the club away for free, have been ongoing for several weeks.

There is optimism within the club that the takeover could be finalized by next week. With Worcester Warriors and Wasps having already gone into administration this season, the English rugby community cannot afford to lose another club.

London Irish’s debts exceed £30 million and they are expected to start repaying their Covid recovery loans to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the near future.

Find below five possible signings.


#1. Cameron Jordan (Gloucester)

According to The Rugby Paper’s report this morning, the Exiles are considering buying out the contract of a 23-year-old former England U18 lock currently playing for Gloucester.

The player has made 22 appearances for the Cherry and Whites this season, and a potential move for him has been discussed in the event that the Irish takeover is successful.

Cameron Jordan of Gloucester Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Gloucester Rugby and Wasps at Kingsholm on 11 September. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK