Mathew Tait, used and abused by England coaches for as long as he can remember, is seeking to reinvigorate his career with a move to Leicester.
The Sale centre has had productive talks with Richard Cockerill, the director of rugby at Welford Road, and will join the Premiership champions next season if recently agreed terms are signed off by the board.
"He is keen to come and we are keen to have him here," said Cockerill, who may well lose another England midfielder, Dan Hipkiss, to Bath. "It's a slight gamble for him to join us and a slight gamble for us to sign him, but there's a good possibility it will happen. He is 24, has 38 caps and there's a lot of rugby left in him."
Tait, currently injured, will find himself in a challenging environment if the deal is completed, and not just because Leicester boast the toughest training regime in the country. The 19-year-old naturalised Samoan centre Manu Tuilagi is current first choice in the No 13 shirt – indeed, many expect him to be capped by England at some point next term, if not before – and the newcomer will need to draw on all his skills to make the move worthwhile.
Newport Gwent Dragons have suspended their head coach Paul Turner pending a disciplinary hearing into his sharp public criticism of the Wales regime over their treatment of the international flanker Dan Lydiate. Turner claimed the Red Dragons staff "messed around" with Lydiate, who suffers from neck problems after a serious injury early in his career, and compromised his fitness during a conditioning session earlier this month. The club promptly issued an apology, apparently on the coach's behalf, but have now decided to take the matter further.
Wasps and Harlequins will push back the frontiers of the club game tomorrow when they play an Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture at a specially constructed stadium in Abu Dhabi. Both clubs have business links in the Gulf, and Wasps are certainly keen to open up new sponsorship opportunities in a bid to keep pace with their better-heeled Premiership rivals.
Representative commitments mean the teams will be well short of full strength, but Wasps have the likes of Tom Varndell and Dominic Waldouck in their back division while Quins have named their first-choice midfield of Nick Evans, Jordan Turner-Hall and the fast-developing young centre George Lowe.