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Premiership club may offer Nick Abendanon route back to England

Nick Abendanon

Former England full-back Nick Abendanon could return to the Premiership on a short-term basis after it was announced he is leaving Clermont Auvergne.

The South African-born star, 33, who has spent the last six seasons playing in France, won two caps in nine seasons with Bath before crossing the Channel.

He had been in talks with a couple of clubs including Glasgow Warriors before the global health crisis brought everything to a halt a couple of months ago.

But TRP has been told that he has been sounded out by London Irish about his future plans and they might offer a deal until the end of the season.

In an interview with TRP last month Abendanon painted in no uncertain terms that he may be forced into a premature retirement if no clubs showed interest.

“I’m out of contract at the end of June and had a couple of potential options that looked very promising, but both of those have dried up,” Abendanon said on April 12.

“That’s obviously disappointing and at this stage it looks as though I’m going to be hanging up my boots, unless something else comes along in the next three months.”

The former Bath favourite said his intentions were to head back to England as options in France had reached a dead end, although fellow Englishman Carl Fearns faced the same predicament but was signed by Pro D2 side Rouen this week.

Abendanon added: “There were two options back in the Premiership and a few things in France’s Pro D2, but there’s nothing for me in the Top 14. I’d been looking forward to going back to the UK for one last big challenge in top-flight rugby, but that looks over now.

Abendanon would add experience to a Exiles back three boasting emerging talents such as Ben Loader, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Tom Parton.

NEIL FISSLER

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