England and Northampton back-row Lewis Ludlam to join Toulon next summer

Lewis Ludlam in England camp
Lewis Ludlam in England camp

England and Northampton back-row Lewis Ludlam is set to become the latest player to join Top 14 next season according to a report.

According to The Telegraph, the Northampton captain has been offered a high sum and a long-term contract with the French club that will begin next summer.

In the process, he becomes the fifth England player in the squad that competed in the recently Rugby World Cup squad to be playing in France along with David Ribbans, Cote D’Azur, Joe Marchant, Jack Willis and Henry Arundell.

Ludlam has been with Northampton since 2016 and has racked up over 100 appearances for them and in November 2020 he was appointed the co-captain along with Alex Waller before becoming the solo skipper at the start of 2021. He also had loan stints with Moseley, Coventry and Rotherham Titans.

The 27-year-old made his England debut in 2019 and was part of the World Cup squad later that year while also representing them in the 2023 showpiece event in France.

According to the Rugby Football Union's selection policy, the players plying trade overseas are ineligible to represent the national team even though Henry Arundell was handed an exemption for next year's Six Nations.

Despite the introduction of hybrid contracts by the RFU and an increased salary cap for the clubs next season, the Premiership clubs will be finding it challenging to overcome lucrative deals from the French clubs.

Toulon are currently are at the eighth position in the Top 14 table after managing five wins from eight matches. They will be facing Pau next on 2nd December at Stade Mayol.