Leicester Tigers have final sob talks with Anthony Watson in a bid to commit him to a shocking new contract… though the club hopes to stay back without help from the RFU
- Anthony Watson’s contract with Leicester Tigers expires at the end of the season
- The back looked ready to move abroad with some of his international teammates
- However, Mail Sport understand that Leicester are in talks over shocking new terms
Leicester are in negotiations to sign Anthony Watson to a shock new Tigers contract, although Mail Sport understands central funding from the RFU would play no part in any possible deal.
The 29-year-old Watson is out of contract at the end of the season and it looked certain that he would move abroad like several of his current international teammates.
Castres were among a number of French clubs looking to experienced England and Lions amid a landscape of financial uncertainty and a lowered salary cap in the Premiership.
Last week, Leicester left Watson off their official list of players to leave the club at the end of the season and there is now hope that he will remain among the Premiership semi-finalists at Welford Road.
“We all know he is a top player and the club and Anthony are in talks to try and make something happen,” said Leicester interim head coach Richard Wigglesworth. “Nothing is settled.”
Leicester Tigers are negotiating a shocking new contract for back Anthony Watson
Watson’s (left wing) deal was due to expire at the end of the season and he was expected to leave
However, head coach Richard Wigglesworth has confirmed that both sides are in talks
With money short in English rugby, Leicester’s latest attempt to retain Watson will come as a surprise to many, although there is still no guarantee he will stay.
Saracens boss Mark McCall has been one of the leading figures in calling for English rugby to introduce central contracts for its leading players.
Mail Sport understands that no such proposal is currently on the agenda and that Leicester hopes to hold Watson without the help of the RFU.
Meanwhile, Leicester intend to appeal Chris Ashton’s red card against Harlequins – a card that could see his final season come to an early end.
Ashton, former England full-back who is retiring at the end of the season, was sent off on Saturday for a dangerous tackle.
If the decision is confirmed, he will miss this weekend’s Leicester Premiership semi-final with Sale and the final if the Tigers make it.
“If we get the date of the hearing, which I thought was Wednesday, we will challenge it,” Wigglesworth confirmed. “If we turn it around, he’s available.”