Cohen close to signing new deal

England’s World Cup winner Ben Cohen has revealed to Sky news that he is close to finding a new club and Leicester is his most likely destination.

The 29-year-old winger left Northampton in September after being overlooked for the captaincy following the Saints’ relegation from the Guinness Premiership.

Cohen had a deal to move to Leicester but that fell through due salary cap reasons. For the past two months he has been weighing up his options and considered a move to rugby league – possibly to Wigan.

He decided that he did not want to move to league and a move to France was mentioned in the press but Cohen now says that he is in advanced talks with a Premiership club close to his Northamptonshire home.

“I’m sorting out a club now,” said Cohen, who has been named on the bench for the Barbarians’ clash with South Africa on Saturday.

“I hope to be playing within the next few weeks – before the new year.

“There is nothing signed and sealed. I’ve had plenty of offers and I weighed up my options. But I’ve decided on the club it will be.

“We’re just crossing Ts and dotting the Is. I won’t be moving house.

“Going to league was an interesting choice. Wigan approached me and I was interested. The option is still there.

“Not many people go from union to league any more. It would have been exciting but it wasn’t to be.

“There’s a rugby league World Cup next year but I’ve already decided what’s going to happen next.

“I’m feeling happier. I’m enjoying life but now it’s time to get back to work.

“Since I’ve been out I’ve been training every day – running, swimming and staying trim.” Cohen decided to make himself unavailable for England’s summer tour to South Africa and the World Cup as his wife was pregnant with twins.

With the twins now settling down Cohen has his sights set on adding to his tally of 53 England caps.

“I don’t think you can ever retire from international rugby,” he said.

“You always have to aspire to play for your country, whether you’re up for selection or not.

“I’ve only just turned 29 and I have four or five years left. I have a lot to give.

“Hopefully if I’m playing well they will come and have a look at me.

“I’ve always missed playing for England, but family come first and it’s been good to be at home.

“If you miss any of that time you’ll never get it back. Yet you can miss half a season of rugby and get it back.

“I’m a family man and I didn’t want to miss being at home with my family. It’s very important to me.

“They were my first children and they were twins, two girls. It was hard work – it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve done being a parent.”

Cohen is still England’s third-highest try-scorer of all time and after ruling himself out for the world cup he was forced to watch it on TV like the rest of us.

“It was hard watching the World Cup but they are all good boys and I get on well with them. I spoke to them quite often,” he said.

“All credit to them because they came back after it seemed all done and dusted after losing to South Africa in the pool stage.

“To get to a World Cup final was fantastic.”

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