Cowan poised for Gloucester switch
March 26, 2012
All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan has slipped down the pecking order at the Highlanders © Getty Images
All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan is reportedly set to complete a move to Aviva Premiership side Gloucester.
The 30-year-old, who won the last of his 51 Test caps during last year's Rugby World Cup, is poised for a high-profile switch from Dunedin-based Super Rugby side the Highlanders as part of raft of changes expected at Kingsholm this summer.
The Cherry and Whites have already secured the services of England No.8 Ben Morgan and Saxons centre Billy Twelvetrees with the likes of Luke Narraway and Mike Tindall heading for the exit in the off-season. Out-of-contract Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson is also expected to leave the club with the recruitment of Cowan set to ease that loss and balance the departure of some of the club's most experienced players.
Cowan finished the All Blacks' victorious World Cup campaign as third-choice scrum-half behind Piri Weepu and Andy Ellis and has also seen his stock fall at the Highlanders this season with the emergence of the 23-year-old rival Aaron Smith who started their latest Super Rugby outing at the weekend.
Off contract with the Highlanders at the end of the Super Rugby season that ends in August, Cowan has been linked with a switch to Gloucester for some months and added fuel to that fire in a recent interview with APNZ. "I'm like all professionals in New Zealand who are coming off contract,'' he said. "I'm certainly looking [at other options overseas]. I'm not getting any younger, it's a great way to experience another culture, isn't it?''
Should Cowan commit his future to English rugby's top flight then he will join the likes of fellow World Cup-winning All Blacks Jerome Kaino, Mils Muliaina, Stephen Donald, Brad Thorn and John Afoa in heading overseas.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup