London Irish closing in on fly-half
April 13, 2012
Exiles boss Brian Smith claims the side are closing in on a new fly-half © Getty Images
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith has claimed that his side are on the verge of recruiting a new fly-half ahead of next season.
Current half-back Dan Bowden is set to sign for the Leicester Tigers and Smith has moved to replace the former-Crusaders fly-half. Smith claims that he wants to bring in "world-class players" to support his promising crop of youngsters with Stormers fly-half Demetri Catrakilis just one name to be linked with the Exiles.
"We're close to sorting the number 10 spot. We've looked at 15-or-so fly-halfs and prioritised the guys that we want," Smith told getreading.co.uk. "We're making sure we're not buying someone with a tendency for injuries. We don't want journeyman players. We have some really talented young players so we want to bring in world-class players around them to help them shine."
London Irish were linked with Scarlets fly-half Stephen Jones but he has signed for Aviva Premiership rivals London Wasps. And Smith has said that the veteran half-back was never in the reckoning to replace Bowden.
Smith said: "Stephen is a wonderful player with fantastic experience but he's not for us. We want an English qualified or Irish player or someone with a younger profile who can grow with our team - because we're looking at rebuilding."
One option for the Exiles would be to try out versatile back Tom Homer in the fly-half spot, but the hugely talented youngster claims he will remain at fullback for the time being.
"I played No.10 a bit at school," Homer said. "It's a position I enjoy, but I'm not sure I've got the attributes to play there at the moment. I need to learn game management, and how to control the game a bit more.
"It's something I'd have to work on hugely if I wanted to play fly-half, but it's always a possibility. I'm enjoying myself at 15 so we'll just wait and see."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time