Eleven Flyhalves Bath Could Target Instead Of Handre Pollard

Eleven Flyhalves Bath Could Target Instead Of Handre Pollard

Stuart Hooper's search for a playmaker to run the show has drawn plenty of attention over the past few months with the club regularly linked to Springbok World Cup winning flyhalf Handre Pollard.

The most recent reports suggest that Pollard's injury against Racing 92, which is set to see him sidelines for several months, has ended Bath's interest in the Springbok with the man himself also ruling out move to the Rec. Pollad has been a long time target of Bath with the Premiership club interest in his services even before the Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

However, it looks increasingly unlikely that Pollard will make the move to the Rec and while Rhys Priestland has excelled at the club in recent times, Bath is on the look out for a new playmaker to lead the side with Priestland now 33 while his contract is also expiring at the end of the season. 

Welsh flyhalf Sam Davies also looked like a strong candidate for Hooper to sign but he has signed an extension to remain at the Dragons. We take a look at 11 potential players Hooper could recruit with some of the players having reportedly attracted his attention already.

Jack Carty

Carty has fallen out of favour with the Ireland squad recently and with Ian Madigan, back on Irish soil his chances of making the side could become even less despite his recent fine run of form.

The 27-year-old could be pursued to head to the Rec in what could be a very good fit for both parties. Carty's contract at Connacht does come to an end at the end of the 2020/21 season but Bath could table an offer to get their hands on the stand off sooner. 

Domingo Miotti

Not many would know the name Domingo Miotti but the Argentine is one of the most promising talents from the South American country.

Miotti has already been linked with a move to the club and unlikely many other players on this list, he would be available to the club almost immediately with the Jaguares encouraging their players to take up contracts abroad. 

While being a talented pivot, the 24-year-old's career as been hit with injuries early on and would be somewhat of a gamble for Hooper but one that could certainly pay off in the long run.

Jonathan Sexton

Another Irish and another player whose contract will come to an end at the end of the 2020/21 season. While Sexton is unlikely to leave Leinster before the expiration of his contract, Bath might want to sign the experienced standoff to help mentor the young pivots at the club.

A move to the Premiership for the 35-year-old could be the final venture of his career and he may just be up for the challenge of the Premiership.

Lima Sopoaga

Sopoaga is yet another player on this list whose contract expires in 2021. The former Highlanders ace struggled with his transition to the Premiership and with the emergence of Jacob Umaga, Sopoaga could be pursued to make a switch.

The 29-year-old would certainly play a big role at the Ricoh if he does stay with Jimmy Gopperth likely to bring his excellent career at the Ricoh to an end. 

Damian Willemse

The most recent test star to be linked with a move to the Rec, Willemse is talented playmaker who would provide Bath with options at fullback and inside centre.

Willemse has spent a large amount of his career at fullback for the Stormers and Springboks but his future is seen to be in the 10 jersey.

At the age of 22, Willemse could become a long term option for Bath if he is to sign with the club with the only draw back for Bath being the periods when he would be on Springbok duty.

Otere Black

The understudy to Beauden Barrett at the Hurricanes a few seasons back, Otere Black left the Canes to join the Blues in search of more starting minutes. 

His first season was hit with injuries before he cemented his place in the Blues starting XV on his return from injury. However, his third season saw Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter join the Blues and while Black managed to play all 7 Super Rugby Aotearoa games, there was a shift in emphasis of Barrett taking over as the side's first five. Black's contract at the Blues comes to an end after the 2021 Super Rugby season and a move a for the Maori All Black could be an excellent bit of business. Black has an astute boot and commands the attack. 

With Barrett set for a season in Japan, the Blues will look to hang onto Black for the 2021 season but may be willing to let the flyhalf leave thereafter.

Mitchell Hunt

Somewhat of an underrated player in New Zealand, Hunt suffered in 2020 with him switching between flyhalf and fullback throughout the Super Rugby season.

A clutch player, Hunt has produced when it has matter for both his former employers, the Crusaders, as well as Highlanders and Tasman.

An attacking flyhalf, Hunt is also accurate off the tee and has a solid boot on him. With Josh Ioane likely to be trusted with the starting jersey at the Highlanders next season, Hunt could be up for a new challenge up North. 

Bryn Gatland

Third choice flyhalf at the Highlanders, Bryn Gatland could also look to further his career up North with a move to the Rec.

Gatland is more of a kicking flyhalf and while he does have a distribution game he does rely on his gun boot.

The son of the former Wales boss has struggled with a long term injury which he returned from earlier this year and the opportunity to get a good run of starting minutes could pursued him to head North.

Adam Hastings

Hastings looks better with every passing game for Scotland and with Bath reportedly having their marquee signing available they could attract the 23-year-old back to the Rec for a second stint.

Hastings' contract expires at the end of the 2020/21 season and if he is to go on the Lions Tour, which is not completely unlikely he could command a high wage Glasgow may not be able to cover.

Isaac Lucas

One of Australia's brightest prospects looks to have slipped through the cracks with Isaac Lucas refusing a pay cut at the Reds earlier this year and is currently clubless.

The Reds and Australia's loss could be Bath's gain with the 21-year-old able to join the Premiership club almost immediately.

A raw talent, Lucas was a star in the Reds young back line and like many of the players on this list is able to play in multiple positions including fullback. 

Johan Goosen

Finally, Johan Goosen is another Springbok pivot that has been linked with a move to Bath in recent months following investigations into Montpellier and subsequent findings that the club has exceeded the French salary cap. 

Goosen came out of retirement to join Montpellier with his current deal also expiring in 2021. He could be one of the players Montpellier look to offload especially once Pollard is fit again.

Goosen also provides options at fullback and centre having played both positions for Montpellier and his former employers Racing 92. 

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