"Searching for replacement" - Kyle Sinckler is leaving Bristol Bears at the end of the season - Ruck

“Searching for replacement” – Kyle Sinckler is leaving Bristol Bears at the end of the season

Bristol Bears are ramping up their search for a new tighthead amid looming concerns over the potential departure of England and Lions sensation Kyle Sinckler when his contract concludes next summer.

Sinckler’s rumored move to the Top 14 has gained significant traction, with talks already in progress with Toulon. The player had visited Toulon’s training ground during the World Cup, alongside Lewis Ludlam.

Interestingly, Ludlam has now completed his move to the French heavyweight, despite Northampton’s earnest attempts to retain their club captain.


Reports suggest that Toulon’s offer, not only featuring a more lucrative salary but also a more extended contract, played a pivotal role in Ludlam’s decision to make the move.

It appears that, even with the proposed introduction of hybrid contracts next year, aimed at providing added security for England players, there’s little to deter the trend of players crossing the Channel.

The allure of better financial terms and extended commitments seems to be a prevailing force.

Sinckler backs Farrell

 The prop revealed he is “surprised but not surprised” to hear Farrell’s announcement. 

“Professional sport is a pressure cooker, but obviously when you’re playing for England it’s even more heightened, and when you are playing for England in a World Cup even more, and then when you are the captain, and the fly-half, even more so,” he said.

“So I am surprised but not surprised. I will say it is funny to see all the support Owen is getting, but in the same breath those people are the ones who have said certain things about him in the media. So it is quite funny to sit back and see it play out. 

“In terms of Owen, he has got to do what is best for him. He’s an experienced man, he’s got a family, and at the end of the day your health is the number one priority.

“Knowing Faz, I’ve got a massive amount of respect for him, I’ve been playing with him for the last eight, nine, 10 years and for him to actually say ‘look, I’m not right’ then something must be up because that guy will go to battle no matter what. 

“At the end of the day he has to do what is best for him. On a personal note, I back him and hopefully he gets the help he needs and the rest he deserves.”

REVEALED: Every Premiership Rugby teams marquee player and their reported salary

RUCK delves into the salary details of each Gallagher Premiership club’s marquee player, showcasing the earnings of these key figures.

Serving as the marquee player exempts them from their team’s salary cap, set at £5 million.

Newcastle Falcons stand out as the sole club without a designated marquee player, opting for a strategic approach by trimming their playing budget to align with their financial objectives.


Excluded player: Finn Russell

The Scottish magic maker, hailed as a million-pound sensation amid speculation of his switch from Racing 92 to the Premiership, is set to pocket around £750,000 annually as Bath’s exclusive player. It’s a handsome sum, no doubt about it.

Finn Russell of Bath Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Newcastle Falcons at the Recreation Ground on 14 October 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Bristol Bears:

Possible excluded player: Kyle Sinckler

. Despite a potential reduction from his initial £475,000-per-year agreement, the tighthead prop seems to be thriving. There’s reported interest from Top 14 clubs eying his services from 2024.

Kyle Sinckler of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bristol Bears and Bath Rugby at Ashton Gate on 10 September. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Exeter Chiefs:

Likely excluded player: Henry Slade

s Exeter’s only excluded player after Hogg’s retirement, the centre’s contract expires at the conclusion of the current season. Sources suggest he will carefully evaluate his options, leaving any potential further England involvement under Steve Borthwick uncertain.

Winning Penalty Kick from Henry Slade of Exeter Chiefs to win the game with the last kick of the game during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park, Exeter on 19th Nov 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK