Premiership Rugby transfer rumours and news: Ex-Bath Rugby ten Henson could return, Shaun Edwards’ future clearer, Newcastle Falcons busy, Harlequins forward to retire

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It was a dramatic weekend of Gallagher Premiership action.

There were stirring comebacks, late drama, last-kick wins, stunning tries and brutal defence.

While the race for the top four and top six has become even tighter, Newcastle Falcons’ defeat at home to Leicester Tigers leaves them adrift at the bottom of the table with three matches to go.

But what’s been happening off the pitch? Here’s a round-up of the latest Premiership rumours and news…

Gavin Henson keen for Premiership return?

He couldn’t, could he? Ex-Bath Rugby playmaker Gavin Henson – now 37 – could return to the Premiership according to The Rugby Paper.

The former Wales international spent two seasons at the Rec before joining Bristol Bears. His last two seasons have been spent at the Newport-based Dragons, but he has struggled to make the 1st XV.

The 33-cap international made 15 outings last season, scoring 98 points, before picking up injuries and failing to make an impact on the field.

  

Dragons’ caretaker coach Ceri Jones confirmed Henson hasn’t been offered a new deal by the region.

According to The Rugby Paper he is being touted to English clubs, as well as others in the Pro14 and Top14 leagues as possible cover during the World Cup in Japan, which eats into the start of next season.

Given Henson can play ten, 12 or full-back, his career might not be done just yet.



Gavin Henson passes the ball for Bath United

Falcons after more second-row strength

Newcastle Falcons are overhauling their second row ranks, The Rugby Paper reports.

Neil Fissler reports that Exeter Chiefs pair Toby Salmon and Ollie Atkins are on their way to Kingston Park in the Summer and Worcester Warriors’ Darren Barry will also be making the move to the North East.

Whether Falcons’ likely Premiership relegation – they’re seven points adrift of Warriors with three games to go – affects that business remains to be seen.

Director of rugby Dean Richards has already recruited USA international Greg Peterson from Bordeaux, while Will Witty is leaving for the Chiefs, Glen Young has signed for Harlequins and Calum Green has been linked to Leicester Tigers.



Newcastle DoR Dean Richards

Former Australia captain retires

James Horwill will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season.

The Harlequins co-captain and former Wallabies skipper has played more than 250 professional games, 66 of those for Quins. .

The second row said: “I have given this great game everything I have and I feel I can no longer give what is needed to play at this elite level.

“Rugby has been a big part of my life for many years. Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisaged the incredible journey it has taken me on.

“I’ve had the privilege and honour to not only play but captain my state, country and club, Harlequins, on a number of occasions over my 14-year career.”



Harlequins skipper James Horwill celebrates as he leads his team off the field after beating Bath Rugby
Harlequins skipper James Horwill celebrates as he leads his team off the field after beating Bath Rugby

Shaun Edwards won’t be coming to the Premiership

Sam Peters in the Sunday Times reported that Shaun Edwards – widely regarded as one of the best defence coaches in the world – is in talks to stay with Wales.

He is apparently very close to agreeing to join the coaching team led by Wayne Pivac, who will take over from Warren Gatland after the World Cup.

Edwards shook hands on a deal to take charge of rugby league giants Wigan Warriors – who he used to play for – in 2020, but that won’t be happening any more.

Edwards said: “I will not be taking up the head coaching role at Wigan, the reason being my lack of preparation.

“World Cup preparations have been brought forward a month and, as a result, I will be unable to spend eight weeks in Australia, as planned, on rugby league.”

Edwards has been linked to a return to Wasps, where he made a name for himself as a coach, before joining Gatland’s Wales set-up.



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