Toulon close in on Claassens
Michael Claassens (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Bath scrumhalf Michael Claassens has reportedly agreed to a move to Toulon, but only if Jonny Wilkinson hangs up his boots at the end of the season.
According to the ESPN Scrum website
, Wilkinson has recently said that he will decide whether to retire at the end of the current campaign
in February. If the England flyhalf opts to call time on his playing career, it's expected that France's Frederic Michalak - who has been playing at No 9 this season - will cover the flyhalf position, thus leaving an opening at scrumhalf.
Claassens joined Bath ahead of the 2007/08 season and has become an integral part of their starting XV, but according to reports in the French press, Claassens, whose contract is up at the end of the 2012/13 season, has penned a pre-contract agreement with Toulon which is dependent on Wilkinson opting to retire.
If Claassens does join Toulon, who currently head the Top 14 standings, he could potentially link up with a strong Springbok contingent. Former Springbok skipper John Smit, currently playing at Saracens in England, and current Bok and Stormers wing Bryan Habana, are both reporteded to have been approached by the Top 14 big spenders, who already boast Bakkies Botha, Joe van Niekerk and Danie Rossouw in their ranks.