Munster could be set to seek outside help in their bid to sign New Zealand back Ben Smith.
The 30-year-old’s Highlanders contract is due to expire next year, at which time he is widely expected to move to Europe.
Munster are thought to be leading the race to sign the All Black, but stuff.co.nz ares suggesting that involvement from a French side could muddy the waters somewhat. Smith would reportedly command a salary of €750,000 but the worry is that one of the affluent Top 14 sides could offer the World Cup winner a salary to match that which Dan Carter receives at Racing 92, roughly €1.6m per annum.
Citing earlier reports in the Irish Independent, Stuff make mention of the belief that Munster could seek the help of private investors in order to put together an attractive financial package and ensure that he ends up lining out for Rassie Erasmus’s side next season.
Such investment will help greatly should the race for his signature develop into a bidding war.
JJ Hanrahan has been heavily linked with a return to the Irish province next season, but the signing of Smith would be a huge statement of intent from the club, at a time when the amount of money in French rugby is making it hard for Pro12 clubs to compete with them financially.
Should the move for Smith go through, he may not be the only All Black moving to Ireland in the summer, with Leinster thought to be in the running to sign fullback Israel Dagg.
Don’t forget to check out the latest edition of our rugby podcast the Oval Office. This week we chat to Neil Best and Gary Longwood as well as discussing the latest news.
Heineken Rugby Club celebrates and rewards real supporters who make the game what it is.