Rugby Transfers: Premiership star to join Owen Farrell at Racing 92, Stuart Hogg deal done

Jared Wright
Sam James and a Racing 92 logo and Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg.

The latest updates on Sam James and Stuart Hogg.

Sale Sharks legend Sam James is reportedly set to join Owen Farrell in France next season while Stuart Hogg nears a return to rugby.

Having reportedly attracted interest from Japanese clubs, Sale veteran James is set to head across the Channel next season after confirming his departure from the Premiership side.

The 30-year-old versatile back racked up nearly 250 appearances for Sale since his debut in 2012, and while he has yet to earn Test recognition, he has been consistently one of the club’s top performers year-on-year.

Sam James to Racing 92

Having already bid farewell to the Sale faithful, James now looks set to take his talents to France, according to a report by Midi Olympique.

The French publication states that he is in ‘advanced talks’ with the Stuart Lancaster-led Racing 92, where he could join fellow Englishman Farrell.

With his CV doing the rounds in France in recent weeks, Racing 92 now emerged as the favourite to secure his services, with the report adding that the club has a ‘good chance of succeeding’ in the negotiations.

James would effectively fill the void of Francis Saili at Racing 92 as the former All Black was not offered a contract extension and follows the likes of Trevor Nyakane, Peniami Narisa, Wenceslas Lauret, Baptiste Chouzenoux, Kitione Kamikamica, Oliver Klemenczak, Juan Imhoff and Christian Wade in leaving the side.

While several players are departing Racing 92, Lancaster has already added Demba Bamba, Diego Escobar, Romain Taofifenua and Farrell to his payroll next season with James and Stormers’ star Hacjivah Dayimani also linked to the side.

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Stuart Hogg heads to Montpellier

Former Scotland full-back Hogg looks is edging nearer to a return to professional rugby with the Telegraph reporting that he will complete his move to Montpellier in the coming weeks.

Reports of Hogg making a retirement U-turn surfaced in May when he was believed to have held talks with Newcastle Falcons, with fresh reports stating that he rejected a deal from the Premiership club and spoke to teams in France, Japan and England.

According to the latest report, Hogg has agreed terms with Montpellier and will link up with the side as a medical joker for Anthony Bouthier, who suffered a serious knee ligament injury which will sideline him until 2025.

The 31-year-old abruptly pushed his retirement forward ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup last year, citing the struggle of getting his body to do what is expected of a professional player and wanting to be closer to his kids.

He has recently been in rehabilitation and was ordered by the courts to stay away from his estranged wife ahead of his trial, having pleaded not guilty to three charges, including stalking.

Hogg would not be the only controversial signing from Montpellier, who have recruited Mohamed Haouas from Biarittz – a player convicted of domestic abuse last year, leading to the termination of his contract with Clermont.

Bastien Chalureau, who was found guilty of “acts of violence with the circumstance of the acts committed because of the race or ethnicity of the victim”, is also on their payroll, while they have also signed Billy Vunipola from Saracens.

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