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Palmer back with the pack after interest from French

Date

Lee Gaskin

Brumbies prop Dan Palmer could be headed to France to play.

Brumbies prop Dan Palmer could be headed to France to play. Photo: Melissa Adams

ACT BRUMBIES prop Dan Palmer could be bidding bon voyage to Australian rugby as the fringe Wallaby weighs up an overseas move at the end of the season.

The 24-year-old has recently returned from a reconnaissance mission to France where he met with several clubs interested in securing the services of the improving tight-head.

While the Brumbies are keen to extend Palmer's deal beyond this year, a lot will depend on whether he receives a top-up deal with the Australian Rugby Union.

That's unlikely given he has played only one Test and it is understood the ARU has reduced the number of players on guaranteed contracts.

Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan conceded Palmer's stellar performances would make him a lucrative target in the bash-and-crash world of French rugby.

''You expect a player of his quality to have interest from overseas clubs and we completely understand that,'' Fagan said.

''He needs to assess all of his options. The ARU generally wants to assess players over the course of the season before determining their level of interest.

''We've had some initial conversations with Palms [to extend his contract] and they're ongoing.''

Palmer informed the Brumbies of his French visit before the Christmas break and he is back in Canberra in time for the resumption of training on Monday.

Quality tight-head props are highly sought by European clubs as they traditionally play a less expansive style than Super Rugby.

Another lure for Palmer could be the chance to be among familiar faces - Fairfax Media understands one of the French clubs he spoke with was Grenoble, which has an affinity for former Brumbies players given it is home to Anthony Hegarty, Ben Hand and Henry Vanderglas.

Palmer has been a revelation at the Brumbies since switching from the Waratahs two years ago in search of more opportunities.

He has taken his chance with both hands, becoming an integral part of the Brumbies' scrum and taking on a leadership role as the club's vice-captain.

That form led to his international debut for the Wallabies in last year's Test with Scotland in Newcastle when several front-line props were unavailable, before a foot injury ruled Palmer out of the Rugby Championship series and spring tour.

The Brumbies are also hoping to tie up their two most experienced internationals, hooker Stephen Moore and prop Ben Alexander, to longer contracts. Palmer's departure would open the door for Alexander to move from loose-head to tight-head, the position he's filled for the Wallabies.

Alexander proved he is one of the premier tight-head props in world rugby with a dominating performance in Australia's 20-14 win over England at Twickenham during the spring tour.

''We've got plenty of other guys in a similar boat [to Palmer] we've initiated discussions with, high-profile guys like Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander that are quite developed negotiations,'' Fagan said. ''I don't think Palms in a massive rush to make a decision, and that suits us fine.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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