Northampton Saints Confirm Signing of England International Prop - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

Northampton Saints Confirm Signing of England International Prop

#2. Jack Willis to Bristol Bears

Premiership clubs are prepared to resist any attempts to eliminate the regulation prohibiting Steve Borthwick from selecting overseas-based player.

According to the Mail Online, ‘clubs are hell-bent’ on retaining the rule despite sources indicating that the salary cap is now unlikely to revert back to £6.4million a year — from the current, reduced £5m — as was intended.

Luckily for Willis, who was struggling to find a club, Bristol bears have emerged as genuine suitors for the back-rower.

According to The Rugby Paper, Pat Lam’s side will offer an an England lifeline with his international career likely over if he extended his time with Toulouse.

A try scorer on his debut against Georgia in November 2020, made an impact in his first three Test appearances spanning three months.

Try Celebrations for Jack Willis of England as he goes over for a try during the Six Nations Match between England and Italy at Twickenham, London on 12 Feb 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

A powerful scavenger for possession, he learned the game at Reading Abbey RFC and joined the Wasps Senior Academy from Henley College, Berkshire for the 2015/16 season. 

Willis scored again for his country in England’s 2021 Six Nations tie against Italy at Twickenham, and featured in Eddie Jones’ squad for the 2022 Autumn Nations Series. 

Borthwick named Willis in his 36-player squad for the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.


#3. Jack Nowell to La Rochelle

Nowell is reportedly his nearing a move to he European champions once his contract with Exeter Chiefs concludes at the end of the season.

The Chiefs have acknowledged their inability to retain the services of the Cornishman at Sandy Park for the upcoming season and have come to terms with the fact that he will join the roster of significant players departing the club in the last two years. 

Rob Baxter recently held negotiations with Nowell in an attempt to reach an agreement, but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

According to The Rugby Paper, he will now move to La Rochelle, where he will work under Ireland legend Ronan O’Gara. 

Baxter has now admitted he is planning for life without the Lions wing.

‘I’ve got to plan that Jack Nowell won’t be here because that’s the current situation,’ said Rob Baxter.

“The agreement we’ve got is that if I find a replacement player who I like the look of, we are going to sign them. Jack is aware of that. He is currently looking in the market.

“If he comes back to me prior to us signing anybody, we can talk. If he comes back after we sign someone who has replaced him and the salary-cap room is not there, then it’s not there. It is a very open scenario.”

Jack Nowell of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park, Exeter on 28th January 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK