The transfer saga surrounding England and Saracens lock Maro Itoje continues to rage on with Jeremy Guscott the latest to have his say.
The 25-year-old will likely spend a season away from Sarries, who will find themselves playing in the Championship next season due to salary cap breaches.
Ben Earl, Nick Isiekwe and Max Malins have already confirmed they will depart the London club on loan.
Geordan Murphy gives Maro Itoje a tongue-in-cheek mention in Leicester recruitment update https://t.co/PLa4GIqdO2— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 30, 2020
Itoje was denied a big-money loan move to Racing 92, but Guscott still believes that the Top14 could be his best bet.
“He might not get another chance in his career to go overseas,” wrote the former England centre in his column for The Rugby Paper.
“If, say, he went to Japan, I don’t think it would be challenging enough physically, apart from in terms of the pace of the game. If it was France, it would be the opposite – the Top 14 is a big, physical challenge in a league with big packs.
“It would simply not be competitive enough for Itoje to play in the Championship.
OUT NOW! ☕️— The Rugby Paper (@TheRugbyPaper) May 31, 2020
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“It means he may take the view that his best move is to cross the Channel to play in France.
“If I was playing in today’s game and had achieved as much as Itoje, and played as much as he has, it would be a strong consideration.
Itoje was also wrongly linked with a move to Leicester Tigers with Geordan Murphy quickly dismissing the speculation a fortnight ago.
“Again we have nothing to announce this week,” said Murphy on LTTV when quizzed about recruitment. “I feel sorry for Maro Itoje. He’s been spotted in Wigston last week and Kibworth this week.
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“There is always going to be rumours linking us to different players… we have been tied to a lot of names and a lot of people over the course and some fantastic players but we’re excited for the guys that we have and the fits that we have for our club.
“All the players that we have signed are signed. We haven’t announced those for a few different reasons but when we are ready we will announce them.
“Our contacts all finish on June 30 and the contracts for incoming players and academy graduates will start on July 1,”
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British & Irish Lions predicted 2021 starting XV according to the bookies
Although it’s about a year until Warren Gatland picks his Lions squad, the public has already started talking about who will make it onto the plane and who will line-up in the first Test against South Africa.
Gatland has spoken publicly about his team but has given little away as he continues to ponder over big selection decisions.
That doesn’t stop the bookies offering odds on who will make the squad.
Here is how the XV would shape up based on the favourites to be selected from each position.
You can view the full odds from Paddy Power HERE.
Odds are accurate on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 8am, and are subject to change.
Fullback: LIAM WILLIAMS (Wales 4/7)
Other contenders: Stuart Hogg (Scotland 4/6), Jordan Larmour (Ireland EVS), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales 5/1), George Furbank (England 7/2)
Left wing: JONNY MAY (England 1/25)
Other contenders: Jacob Stockdale (Ireland 1/3), Adam Radwan (England 40/1), Jack Nowell (England 11/4), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales 13/8)
Outside-centre: JONATHAN DAVIES (Wales 1/3)
Other contenders: Henry Slade (England 5/6), Garry Ringshow (Ireland 4/6), Jonathan Joseph (England 13/8), Chris Harris (Scotland 20/1), Huw Jones (Scotland 6/1)
Inside-centre: MANU TUILAGI (England 1/3)
Other contenders: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland 5/6), Hadleigh Parkes (Wales 5/4), Sam Johnson (Scotland 9/2)
Right wing: JOSH ADAMS (Wales 1/18)
Other contenders: Anthony Watson (England 4/6), George North (Wales 2/1), Elliot Daly (England 10/11), Joe Cokanasiga (England 3/1), Keith Earls (Ireland 9/2)