Handre Pollard and Bath has been an ongoing transfer saga this summer – in this special piece, the RUCK take a closer look at the links and what could be next.
We’re asked constantly about Pollard as links with Bath show no sign of stopping.
It was reported last month that the 26-year-old, who earns around £700,000 per season with Montpellier, has been offered around £1m to move to the west country.
The black, blue and whites, who have been trying to sign a high-profile number 10 for the last two years, were in for the playmaker last summer before he instead joined Montpellier after his 2019 World Cup triumph.
However, the superstar is now at the centre of a salary cap scandal in the Top 14, and could soon be on the move once again to help the French side balance their books.
A source close to Pollard has revealed to us that the fly-half “is still weighing up his future, and a move to Bath at this point is certainly on the cards”.
Our sources indicate that his services have been touted to a number of clubs, but if no other offers come in then Bath will be the World Cup winners likely destination.
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However, reports in South Africa of a three-year deal being agreed and the player himself house hunting are the stuff of fantasy says the people closest to the player.
South Africa Schools and Under-20 representation at three World Championships led to Pollard making his full Springboks debut in 2014.
He now has 48 caps, scoring 457 points and has established himself as the Boks’ first-choice ten as they lifted the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
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The highest paid players at every Gallagher Premiership club
Bath: Taulupe Faletau – £550,000
Bristol Bears: Charles Piutau – £1m
The former All Black full-back or wing, who surprised many by leaving New Zealand before reaching the peak of his powers, has allegedly become British rugby’s first million pound man.
Exeter Chiefs: Stuart Hogg – £500,000
The fullback signed a new deal recently, accepting a slight pay-cut.
Gloucester Rugby: Danny Cipriani – £380,000
The fly-half was on £190,000 to £200,000, which was a relatively modest wage for a player of his calibre and experience. It’s been reported that his new deal is closer to the £400,000 Toulon offered him.
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Harlequins: Mike Brown (£300,000)
The three England stars remain the highest paid players at the Stoop.
Leicester Tigers: Manu Tuilagi – £460,000
with the England centre’s appearances for club Leicester and country sporadic through a variety of ailments.
London Irish: Paddy Jackson – £400,000
The number 10 will reportedly earn more than his ex-international teammate, who’ll also pocket a hefty £350,000 wage packet.
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Newcastle Falcons: Toby Flood – £250,000
Northampton Saints: Dan Biggar – £500,000
Wales’ ‘Governor’ was a catalyst for the Ospreys, being a superb club man and racking up a points record. But he decided to sample life “outside the goldfish bowl” of Wales with a big money offer enticing him to Northampton Saints.
Sale Sharks: Manu Tuilagi – £350,000
The centre took a £100,000 paycut to join the Sharks after leaving Leicester. He is reportedly set to take Tigers to court to recoup his loss of earnings.
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Saracens: Owen Farrell – £750,000
Farrell will remain at the club that he has called ‘home’ since the age of 14 until at least 2022, earning himself a hefty pay-rise in the process. His new deal means he will now earn in excess of £750,000 a season, bringing him in line with some of the highest paid players in the world.
Wasps: Joe Launchbury – £420,000
The England second-row became the clubs highest paid player after extending his contract earlier this season.
Worcester Warriors: Matt Kvesic
The local boy has returned to Sixways following successful stints with Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs.