The professional rugby season around the globe may be on shutdown at the moment but the transfer market continues to spin as directors of rugby up and down the land are still putting the final touches on their squads for 2020/21.
Deals and departures are being announced all over the league and with Bristol Bears in their second season back at the top table of European rugby, playing in the Gallagher Premiership and European Challenge Cup, we take a look at all the latest transfer news and rumours from them and their rivals.
Here is all the latest:
Leicester Tigers powerhouse set for Pro14 switch
Leicester Tigers’ big ball carrying number eight Sione Kalamafoni is set to switch Welford Road for the Parc y Scarlets next season according to the latest reports.
Incoming Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney has previously worked with the forward while he was in charge of Greene King IPA side Nottingham.
Backrower Kalamafoni, 31, is a 37-cap Tonga international and has been one of the standout players in his position in the Gallagher Premiership for the best part of a decade having broken onto the scene with Gloucester.
The number eight is currently sidelined with an enforced rest after taking a series of knocks to the head.
Bears scrum half heading to France
Bristol Bears scrum half Nic Stirzaker will leave Bristol Bears at the end of the season to join French PROD2 side US Montauban
The 29-year Australian never quite reached the heights that had been hoped of him after joining the Bears from Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels ahead of the 2018/19 season as Bristol returned to the Gallagher Premiership having won promotion from the Championship in director of rugby Pat Lam’s first season at the club.
To date, in his two seasons at the club Stirzaker has made 18 competitive appearances in a Bears jersey with Harry Randall, who signed the same summer, and homegrown talent Andy Uren fighting it out between them for the two scrum half roles in the match day 23.
England international centre set for French Top 14 move
Bath Rugby’s hopes of landing Saracen’s versatile back Alex Lozowski look to have been dashed according to the latest reports.
The Blue, Black and Whites were understood to be in a two-way battle with Sale Sharks to land the England international having held talks with the player but a new suitor has now emerged according to The Rugby Paper and looks to have won the battle for his signature.
French Top 14 side Toulouse are reported to have agreed a one-year deal with Lozowski which would allow him to return to Saracens in 2021/22 if they win promotion straight back into the Premiership from the Greene King IPA Championship as expected.
Sale Sharks target Leicester Tigers ace
Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond is reported to be looking to bring outstanding England winger Jonny May to the club next season.
The flying wideman is out of contract at Leicester Tigers at the end of the season however Welford Road chiefs want to keep him at the club but are reportedly not willing to match his current salary, asking him to take a £100,000 pay cut.
With Chris Ashton departing Sharks midseason there looks to be room in Diamond’s squad for another big name addition out wide, however reports the clubs could do a swap deal for former England winger Marland Yarde are wide of the mark according to The Rugby Paper.
May had been linked with a potential move to Newcastle Falcons but the north east club are reported to be struggling financially, especially considering the fact the club have no income coming in with the Greene King IPA Championship cancelled due to the coronavirus.
England international prop signs new deal at Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs prop Harry Williams said it was ‘easy decision’ to put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with the current Gallagher Premiership leaders.
The England international has been at Sandy Park since 2015, joining the Devon club from Championship outfit Jersey Reds, and he has since established himself as an integral part of the much-vaunted Chiefs pack of forwards.
Part of the club’s Premiership-winning side of 2017, the 28-year-old tight-head has made just shy of 100 first-team appearances, scoring ten tries in the process.
Jamie Roberts looking for PRO14 return
Former Bath Rugby centre Jamie Roberts says he wants to return to where it all started for him in professional rugby to conclude his career.
The 97-capped Wales and Lions centre says he hopes to play for Cardiff Blues again before retiring and help them back to the top table of the European game.
Roberts left Bath for South African Super Rugby side the Stormers in January and outlined his plans in an interview with The Rugby Paper.
He said: “I told myself as soon as I left Cardiff I’d want to play there again before I finish my career.”
This content was originally published here.