NIK SIMON’S GAIN LINE: Ex-Wales international Jamie Roberts is set to move Down Under, while Bath make an approach for Bristol’s Nathan Hughes… and Eddie Jones insists he will not demand that his England stars get the Covid-19 vaccine
- Former Wales centre Jamie Roberts is close to joining the Waratahs in Australia
- Bath want to sign England international Nathan Hughes on loan from Bristol
- England head coach Eddie Jones will not force his players to be vaccinated
Globetrotting centre Jamie Roberts is on the brink of moving to Australia to sign for the Waratahs.
The former Wales and Lions powerhouse is in advanced talks with the Sydney-based club and could move by the end of month, in time for the Super Rugby season. His career has taken him to Cardiff, Racing, Harlequins, Bath, the Stormers and the Dragons.
Sale Sharks have made enquiries about signing Exeter winger Tom O’Flaherty. The prolific Chiefs star could fill the hole left by former England winger Denny Solomona, who left Sale earlier this season.
Sale are interested in signing Exeter’s Tom O’Flaherty (R), who could replace Denny Solomona
Exiled Montpellier No 8 Zach Mercer has been offered a World Cup lifeline after an impromptu meeting with Eddie Jones.
Mercer recently caught Jones’ eye during an outing against Castres, after which the England head coach said: ‘I had a quick chat with Zach after the game. I am really impressed.
‘For a young player who has taken the initiative to go and develop his game in another country is absolutely outstanding. We’re hopeful that he’ll come back and try to fight for a spot in the World Cup squad.’
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is the latest footballing star to share training tips with Eddie Jones.
Jones caught up with several coaches in the UK over Christmas including Gerrard and said. ‘I was lucky enough to visit Aston Villa and met with Steve Gerrard. He’s mature beyond his age.’
Steven Gerrard spoke to Eddie Jones about coaching techniques over the Christmas period
Bath have made an approach to sign England No 8 Nathan Hughes on loan from Bristol.
Hughes appears to be cast out at Ashton Gate, having played for Hartpury University on Friday to build up his game time. Meanwhile Kiwi veteran Jimmy Gopperth is closing in on a move to Leicester.
Eddie Jones will not put pressure on his England stars to get the Covid vaccine even if it means he is short of players for Six Nations trips to Rome and Paris.
More than 85 per cent of Jones’ squad are vaccinated, but the un-jabbed minority could be forced to miss out on those two away trips. Jones said: ‘There will be requirements to get into certain countries that we are not 100 per cent sure of at the moment.
‘Our medical team speaks to our players about those issues. I certainly don’t take it on my bat as encouraging or discouraging from taking vaccinations. I see it as a very personal choice.’
England head coach Eddie Jones will not insist on his players getting the Covid-19 vaccine