Wallabies and NSW Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau headlines a host of Super Rugby players linked with a move to the Aviva Premiership with newly promoted Bristol reportedly interested in acquiring the 31-year-old forward.
According to the Bristol Post, Polota-Nau has reportedly said his goodbyes to his Waratahs teammates, and is on the verge of signing for Andy Robinson’s side at the conclusion of this season’s Rugby Championship.
Bristol signed former Bath, Leicester and Newcastle hooker Rob Hawkins on a short-term deal earlier this week, but with first-choice number 2 Marc Jones ruled out until late November, Andy Robinson may look to usher in Polota-Nau to fill the void left by the injured Jones.
Bristol have also been linked with Hurricanes utility back Jason Woodward, who is fresh off a Super Rugby winning campaign with Chris Boyd’s side.
Woodward started 10 games with the ‘Canes last season, and has been linked with Bristol due to his connection with Bristol’s head of recruitment and talent identification Alan Martinovic, having studied at Hartpury College before returning south to play for the Melbourne Rebels and the Hurricanes (via The Telegraph).
Elsewhere, Crusaders centre Robbie Fruean has been linked with Bath after former Crusaders coach and current Bath boss Todd Blackadder expressed an interest in the player.
The 28-year-old has spent six of his last sevens seasons in Super Rugby with the Canterbury based side, and is extremely familiar with Blackadder and new Bath assistant Tabai Matson, who was an assistant coach with the Crusaders from 2013 to the end of the last Super Rugby season.
Blackadder and Matson are reportedly looking at Fruean as a potential replacement for the recently depart Kyle Eastmond, who joined Wasps over the summer after five seasons in Somerset.
In addition to Fruean, Blackadder and Matson are also reportedly pursuing former fan favourite and Reds number 8 Leroy Houston.
Houston returned to Australia this summer in a bid to gain selection to Michael Cheika’s Wallabies squads for the three-test summer series against England.
The barnstorming backrower was originally named in Cheika’s preliminary 39-man squad for the series, but was ultimately cut, and played no part in any of the subsequent tests against Eddie Jones’ side.
An opening weekend injury to new signing Taulupe Faletau has reportedly re-ignited Bath’s interest in the player, with rumours rife that the 29-year-old could be back on his way to the Rec this season, despite Houston signing a two year deal with the Queensland Reds that would keep him in Brisbane until the end of the 2018 season.