Exeter Chiefs Sign replacement for departing England star - Page 3 of 3 - Ruck

Exeter Chiefs Sign replacement for departing England star

#4. Billy Vunipola to Tokyo Sungoliath

The Saracens powerhouse is currently exploring his options in Japan as his contract with the Premiership leaders is set to expire this summer.

According to The Rugby Paper, the England number 8 could be joining England teammate Manu Tuilagi in Japan and has enlisted the help of former Red Rose head coach Eddie Jones.

Both could join Tokyo Sungoliath, where Jones continues to hold significant influence as a long-standing consultant.

Billy Vunipola of Saracens on the break during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Leicester Tigers and Saracens at Twickenham Stadium on 18 June 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The role caused significant controversy during his time as England boss.

This season, they boast significant names such as Wallabies star Samu Kerevi and former All Black Aaron Cruden

Tuilagi’s exit from Sale took a huge forward step as Sharks confirmed the signing of inside-centre Sam Bedlow for next season

Alex Sanderson admitted only last week that an extension for Tuilagi was proving difficult to nail down.


#5. Courtney Lawes to Toulon

Lawes has revealed he is unsure about his club future after confirming that he has an escape clause written into his Northampton Saints contract.

The 33-year-old versatile forward is due to be under contract at Franklin’s Gardens until 2024, but could now leave at the end of the season.

Reports in France have suggested Toulon, who signed Dan Biggar from Saints last November, would be at the front of the queue to sign the two-tour Lion.

Lawes said: ‘My contract is not necessarily up this year, there’s options there,’ he said. ‘At the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for myself and my family.

‘I’d love to stay at Saints, at the same time you’ve got to find what’s best for yourself and your family, like Dan Biggar has done. 

‘That’s the most important thing, especially when you’re getting a bit older. I think I’ll probably get one more contract out of myself, then call it a day at the end of that.’

Courtney Lawes of England during the Match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on 19 June 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK