"Overseas Offer" - Wales Could Lose Another Player Ahead of 2023 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

“Overseas Offer” – Wales Could Lose Another Player Ahead of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Reports are circulating that Wales lock Cory Hill could become the next player to retire from the Wales national team, ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Kyle Sinckler of England Rugby is handed off by Cory Hill of Wales Rugby during the Guinness Six Nations Championship match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 23, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Hill would become the fourth player to willingly retire from Warren Gatland’s side, after the shock departures of Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb. Hill’s future speculation comes little over three months away from Wales’ Rugby World Cup opener, as they take on Fiji in Bordeaux on September 10th.

Wales Online reported how ‘high level talks’ are taking place in order to keep Hill in the squad, with the lock reportedly receiving overseas interest for a club move. Hill has 32 Wales caps, so the 25-cap WRU restriction on overseas stars will not impact the 31-year-old.

However this does not ensure the international future of Hill, as Wales Online reported how: “Many clubs in France and Japan are understandably reluctant to pay big money for players who will be away on international duty for large chunks of the season.

“It is understood Hill has been offered a playing contract overseas on the proviso he does not play for Wales in the upcoming World Cup. He now has one of the biggest decisions of his career to make.”

If Hill does step down from his space in the Wales training squad, then the initial 54-man group will then be reduced further to 49 players. Gatland’s squad was depleted further after Rhys Carre was released, after failing to hit his performance targets.

Hill has been playing for the Yokohama Cannon Eagles since 2021, yet recently left the Japanese club. There were reported interests from the four Welsh clubs for Hill’s services, however due to the budget restrictions in the ongoing WRU salary saga, no offer materialised for the lock.