Jones denies Armitage talks but Wasps still keen

Steffon Armitage wants to play in England hut has not spoken to England head coach Eddie Jones

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has confirmed that they would be interested in signing Toulon forward Steffon Armitage.

Toulon revealed earlier this week that Armitage was interested in playing Premiership rugby again after he had held talks with England head coach Eddie Jones.

Thirty-year-old Armitage has been playing rugby for five years in Toulon which makes him ineligible for England selection unless there are “exceptional circumstances” as he is not playing in England.

Armitage has played for England on five occasions but has not featured at international level since the 2010 Six Nations.

England head coach Eddie Jones admits that he is monitoring the Armitage situation but denies that he had held talks with the player.

“I haven’t had a conversation with him,” Jones told BBC Sport.

“But, if he’s eligible to play for England and in form I will definitely look at him.”

Wasps Boss Young says that even though they are interested in signing Armitage they have had no contact with his club Toulon.

“We would certainly be interested in bringing somebody like Steffon back,” Young told BBC Sport.

“But we have had no contact with Toulon at all and, until that becomes a reality, we’ve nothing to comment on.”

Armitage is contracted to Toulon until the end of the 2017 season Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has said that if a Premiership club wants him they will have to buy him out of his contract and find a replacement.

Wasps will soon lose George Smith and Charles Piutau and Young says that as they are losing playing of such calibre it is not surprising that there will be speculation about them signing Armitage and South African back Willie Le Roux who has also been linked to the club this week.

“We are an easy target when we are losing the likes of George Smith and Charles Piutau,” said Young.

“Of course we would be looking at these players, or players of that position. But we are nowhere near down the road with any of them really.

“We know that Steffon’s agent is enquiring in the Premiership. Yes, we would be interested but, at what levels, we don’t know, and he’s a Toulon player at this time.

“If Steffon is looking to come back to England, I am sure we are one of 12 Premiership teams who would be interested in him.”

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