The Bristol Maze

There is an article in ‘The Rugby Paper’ this week, where Bryan Redpath bemoans the fact that coaches are now under similar pressure to their football counterparts (without the same rewards!) –

He has a point.

There is another area where rugby is starting to echo Premiership football as well – transfer rumours.

Of course it is nothing like football where outrageous suggestions about top players discontent and being tapped up fill the back pages for weeks on end – and not just in the transfer window. Everyone knows that these are generally fuelled by agents looking to upgrade their villas and private planes and most are taken with a shed load of Saxa. Even Roman Abramovich might be down to his last couple of billion if half of them were true.

In rugby at present, most of the rumours end up with having at least a level of credibility – George Ford, Kurtley Beale and Aaron Cruden did end up moving and there is little doubt that both Ben Smith and Israel Dagg were seriously courted by teams in the Top 14.

The latest big move has just seen All Black Steven Luatua agree to join Bristol in the summer.

However there have been other target player rumours emanating from Bristol this season – Ma’a Nonu was the first to be suggested and now following the signing of Luatua the names T J Perenara and Ryan Crotty are being bandied about – both well established in the current AB squad –

Frankly I can’t see either of these considering joining a club deep in relegation trouble – certainly not if they are to go from playing the British and Irish Lions to the possibility of travelling to Ealing Trailfinders in September.

I have no doubt that some big names may well be heading somewhere north next season, but some of the suggestions being bandied around are as likely as Lionel Messi and Ronaldo looking up the phone number of Tyneside estate agents.



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