Ospreys flanker Sam Underhill will be available for England selection next season having secured a move to Aviva Premiership side Bath.
The Tmes are reporting that the 20-year-old is to move in the summer in a bid to further his international chances; although he has been on Eddie Jones’ radar for some time, RFU restrictions have prevented the former under-18 captain from representing the Red Rose at senior level.
In fact, Jones had looked to bring Underhill into the international fold as soon as last summer as a replacement for the injured James Haskell, but the RFU rules put the brakes on that plan. The England coach had hoped that Haskell’s injury would fall under the “extraordinary circumstances” clause that exists in the rule, but it was not to be.
Now, however, Jones will be free to pick Underhill as competition to Haskell, as well as the likes of Jack Clifford and Teimana Harrison for the number seven role.
The report alleges that Bath will pay Ospreys a £150,000 transfer fee to secure Underhill’s services, given the fact that his contract in Swansea still has another year to run.
The highly-rated youngster will not be available for England’s Six Nations campaign, but should be in contention for the national side from the summer onwards.
Although either side is yet to confirm the transfer, the report states that Bath will do so in the coming days.