Is Richie Gray lining up a Gloucester get-out clause?
SALE lock Richie Gray wants to use Gloucester as a relegation safety net.
The imposing 23-year-old second row would be keen on a Kingsholm move should the Sharks fail to save themselves from the drop to the Championship.
The Citizen understands Gloucester would relish the chance to bring the 6ft 10in Scotland giant (pictured right) to the Cherry and Whites – but are not about to gamble on his availability at the end of the season.
Gray joined Sale from Glasgow in the summer, on a three-year contract.
Gloucester would be unlikely to buy out the two remaining years of that deal – but would not need to should Sale go down.
Already it seems he and his advisors are making relegation contingency plans – but there could be more likelihood of Gray's team-mate Kearnan Myall ending up at Gloucester next term.
Gloucester could yet chase two more lock additions, over and above the 18-month deal handed to Tongan powerhouse Lua Lokotui, with Alex Brown forced into retirement and Jim Hamilton bound for Montpellier.
Rugby director Nigel Davies is still chasing Toulon's former London Irish lock Nick Kennedy, after failing to prise Geoff Parling away from Leicester Tigers.
Lineout boss Kennedy has struggled to adjust to life in France, and should he decide to return to England, then Gloucester is his likely destination.
No one in England is able to match his current salary, but that would not be Kennedy's chief concern if he does move.
Gloucester have also been tracking Sale's athletic former Leeds lock Myall.
The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and is another who can run the lineout, in the Alex Brown mould.