Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish are exploring the prospect of signing of New Zealand fly half Chris Noakes from his present club.
The 28 year old currently plays for the Blues in the Super Rugby League, and the Exiles have identified him as the perfect replacement for Ian Humphreys, who is reported to be considering a return to Ulster at the beginning of the new season.
Just like Humphreys, the Kiwi is vastly experienced and his safe pair of hands on the ball will be a huge boost for the club as they try to cover the potential loss of the Irishman. But the greatest asset of Noakes is perhaps the ability to steer the team around the park, something that the Exiles have been missing for some time and his signature would come as a huge statement of intent from the club.
Moreover, he would also provide an alternative on the pitch for Shane Geraghty, who has made position his own in the recent matches for the London Irish.
Noakes has been a part of several big names sides during his time in the Super Rugby League, having plied his trade with the Highlanders, Otago and Bay of Plenty and he had a highly impressive season with the Blues in his debut campaign last term.
He made 12 starts in the club’s first 14 games but a shoulder injury which required surgery derailed his season. And since his return, he has failed to reproduce the kind of form that saw him blossom for the sidelines and he found himself on the bench for many matches.
And with his position in the team up in smoke, the London Irish could complete a coup by swooping for him before the end of the season and sing him up.