Northampton back-row Lewis Ludlam will become the latest England international to head for France after agreeing terms to join Top 14 side Toulon next summer, according to The Telegraph.
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The 27-year-old has played in the last two World Cups for England and was an ever-present in Steve Borthwick’s first Six Nations campaign in charge.
Ludlam is highly prized for his versatility and combativeness but was not assured of receiving one of the hybrid contracts set to be introduced next year by the Rugby Football Union.
While Northampton were desperate to keep their club captain, Toulon not only offered high wages but a longer-term contract, which was thought to be crucial in Ludlam’s decision.
Five members of England’s 31-man World Cup squad are now playing or heading in France. Ludlam will join David Ribbans, the second row, at Toulon on the Cote D’Azur while centre Joe Marchant has joined Stade Francais.
Flanker Jack Willis has signed a multi-year deal at Toulouse and Henry Arundell who is enjoying a sensational start at new club Racing 92.
In fairness, dissent in international rugby isn’t as big of a problem compared to something like football. But who are the worst players to manage in rugby history?
Well, we’ve discovered quotes from six of the world’s finest officials down the years who told stories about trying to control some of football’s bad boys.
Interestingly, one name cropped up on three occasions…
Matthew Carley – Steve Borthwick
On Borthwick: “A difficult question. When I first started refereeing in the Premiership Steve Borthwick was one of the guys who was pretty intimidating.
“He saw that everything was on ‘his terms, whether you like it or not’. He had such presence. I think you learn how to deal with people like that as a ref, but Steve Borthwick, was as tough as they come.”