Bald­win for Quins as Gus­tard axe falls on 12

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page - By NEIL FISSLER

WALES in­ter­na­tional Scott Bald­win looks set to be on his way to Har­lequins next sea­son as Paul Gus­tard un­der­takes a bru­tal re­mod­elling of his play­ing squad.

The Quins boss has been look­ing to sign a new hooker and his first choice was Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Luke Cowan-Dickie. But he was forced to switch to Ospreys ace Bald­win, 30, when Cowan-Dickie opted to stay at Ex­eter Chiefs.

The Ospreys are strug­gling to keep Bald­win, who joined the re­gion in 2009, with­out the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of the Welsh Rugby Union, which is set to end.

Cardiff Blues were in­ter­ested in Bald­win, who won the last of his 34 in­ter­na­tional caps against Samoa in June 2017, but Quins have edged ahead in the race.

New­cas­tle Fal­cons’ for­mer Scot­land Un­der-20 lock Glen Young looks set to join Bald­win next sea­son af­ter re­ject­ing a new deal.

It is un­der­stood Gus­tard has told 12 play­ers their con­tracts will not be re­newed.

Hooker Dave Ward is off to York­shire Carnegie as a player-coach as well as Ge­orge Mer­rick’s pend­ing exit to Cler­mont, while lock Ben Glynn and flanker Luke Wal­lace are also leav­ing the Stoop.

Jack Clif­ford, Alofa Alofa and Char­lie Mulchrone are plan­ning on play­ing else­where next sea­son.

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