Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit could leave Gloucester at the end of the season with two Top 14 clubs reportedly interested in his services.
The 22-year-old’s contract with the Cherry and Whites expires at the end of the season, and he could depart Kingsholm with Montpellier and Bordeaux said to be scouting him.
Rees-Zammit wanted in France
According to The Rugby Paper, Rees-Zammit’s form at the Rugby World Cup caught the eye of Top 14 scouts, which ‘could spark a battle’ for his signature.
The Welshman has scored 14 tries in his 32 Test appearances for Wales, including a World Cup hat-trick against Georgia.
With his contract expiring at the Premiership club, Rees-Zammit won’t be short of offers and with Wales having updated their eligibility rules – dropping the required minimum cap tally for overseas players from 60 to 25 – he has his options open.
Rees-Zammit became the youngest Gloucester player to play for the club in the Premiership, debuting when he was just 18 years and 70 days, and while he has been a standout for the side since, it is understood that the club is willing to let the Welshman depart to France.
With the RFU looking to lure English rising star Henry Arundell back to the Premiership with their hybrid contracts, it has been reported that Gloucester and West Country rivals Bath are especially keen on his services. Rees-Zammit’s departure would free up space in Gloucester’s budget to attempt to sign Arundell, which would be a like-for-like replacement.
Bordeaux or Montpellier?
If he were to join Bordeaux, the speedster could form a threatening back three along with France stars Damian Penaud and Louis Bielle-Biarrey, the latter likely to settle at full-back.
However, Rees-Zammit will be wary of signing with Montpellier, who are currently in danger of being relegated after a poor start to the season, which included six successive defeats in the opening seven matches.
Montpellier has moved to right the ship after sacking head coach Richard Cockerill, recruiting disgraced ex-World Rugby vice president Bernard Laporte as their new director of rugby and hiring Patrice Callozo to replace Cockerill.
Meanwhile, The Rugby Paper also reports that fellow Welsh international George North is in talks to join ambitious Pro D2 club Aix-en-Provence.