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Wasps Bid To Sign Steffon Armitage In Disarray As Surprise Contender Move For The Flanker

TOULON, FRANCE - DECEMBER 13: Steffon Armitage of Toulon looks on during the European Rugby Champions Cup pool three match between RC Toulon and Leicester Tigers at Felix Mayol Stadium on December 13, 2014 in Toulon, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wasps were thought to be leading the chase to sign Steffon Armitage.

When Mourad Boudjellal announced that Steffon Armitage had requested to leave Toulon after speaking with Eddie Jones earlier this month, rumours of Wasps interest in the flanker quickly gathered pace.

Such speculation was not without basis. As a precursor to Boudjellal’s statement, Midi Olympique claimed that Wasps had  made contact with Toulon with the view of buying out the remainder of Armitage’s contract.

The following day,  The Telegraph also reported that Wasps had enquired as to Armitage’s availability. Therefore, although Boudjellal’s statement shocked many, it should not have come as a massive surprise.

However, after Eddie Jones denied contacting the flanker, rumours of Wasps interest began to cool, even after Dai Young told BBC Sport, that Wasps would ‘certainly be interested in bringing somebody like Steffon back‘.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young looks on as the teams warm up before the Aviva Premiership match between Wasps and Gloucester at The Ricoh Arena on March 1, 2015 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Indeed, soon after Young’s BBC interview, La Provence claimed newly promoted Lyon had made an offer for the openside flanker, further challenging the notion that Armitage would sign for Wasps and contend for a place in the England team.

Nevertheless, few believed that Armitage would turn down the chance to make an international return by signing for Lyon.

It would now seem that those who did were correct in assuming that the flanker would not join Lyon, but wrong to believe Armitage’s motivation for leaving Toulon was to make an England comeback, as the openside is said to be in ‘advanced talks’ with Pau.

The claim was made by provincial French newspaper, Sud Ouest, who this afternoon maintain that Armitage has already visited the Top 14 club, touring their facilities.

It would therefore appear that Wasps will have to act fast if they are serious about signing the five times capped England international.

Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.