Scarlets' Tavis Knoyle could join Gloucester Rugby next season
LLANELLI Scarlets' Tavis Knoyle could yet join Gloucester next season – without spelling the end of Brad Field's Kingsholm opportunities.
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies could explore recruiting a third scrum-half to compete alongside Jimmy Cowan and Dan Robson next term – as well as keeping Field on hand too.
Field signed a one-year dual-registration deal with Gloucester and Hartpury RFC for this term.
Rugby director Davies could tie up a deal for Field as a straight replacement for Exeter-bound Dave Lewis.
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But Knoyle's availability has Gloucester seriously considering bringing him into the Kingsholm squad, and asking Field to reprise his dual-registration role next season.
Welsh rugby's meltdown seems to have reached the point where a 22-year-old, third-choice in the national side, could be lured away to compete for action alongside All Black World Cup-winner Cowan and the highly-rated Robson.
Kingsholm chief Davies refused to discuss personal situations, but the wherewithal is certainly growing in Knoyle's favour.
Davies explained: "I know Tavis well.
"I won't talk about anything that hasn't been done yet, or contracts that haven't been signed, but we'll just wait and see on that front.
"Jimmy should be fit to start next season for us, and that's great, it's a shame we've lost him this year, he's been very influential coming in as late as he did.
"But this injury gives him a break, and after a good pre-season I think we'll see the best of Jimmy next year."
Former Scarlets boss Davies said beefing up the links with Cinderford and Hartpury RFC will provide greater long-term avenues into the Gloucester first team – potentially beyond the traditional confines of the Kingsholm first team squad.
He continued: "If you look at where the squad needs to be strengthened, scrum-half might be one position.
"But it's a balancing act on that front.
"That's where our link with Hartpury and Cinderford will be so important.
"You can't necessarily hold four players for one position, because you don't want to take up the salary space or deny players regular rugby.
"But you've got to balance the relationship with those clubs, because if there's a pathway that can help attract to those clubs then to Gloucester, and also that can benefit us.
"That's a medium to long-term thing, but it certainly will provide a better infrastructure for Gloucester to move forward when we get that right.
"We've had some conversations with players where we haven't been able to do that for various reasons, but we would like them to stay within the system, because we still feel there's opportunities for them and they have potential.
"Those are difficult conversations, but if we believe there is potential in those players we have to be able to try to get a pathway for them.
"So we work with Cinderford and Hartpury to be able to do that."