Scotland lock Jim Hamilton is set to reverse his earlier decision to remain in France and return to the Aviva Premiership with Saracens.
The 31-year-old, who moved from Gloucester last summer, insisted last month that he would remain with Montpellier. He had been linked with a move to Saracens as the replacement for retiring Steve Borthwick, the former England captain. However, Hamilton stated that he had considered a move back across the English Channel because his father was ill, but would honour the three-year deal he had signed with the French Top 14 title contenders.
The story of his departure resurfaced last week when Montpellier president Mohed Altrad acknowledged the player’s personal situation but insisted that he would only consider releasing Hamilton from the remainder of his contract if specific terms are satisfied. “I will allow him to leave on two conditions; that he remains honest for the rest of the season and fulfils his role as a professional, but also that we find a replacement of similar calibre”, said Altrad.
Hamilton’s wish to leave has moved a step closer following Perpignan’s relegation from the top flight at the weekend.
The Catalan club now faces budget cuts and may be forced to free several higher earners. Among the men looking to move on is Welsh international Luke Charteris who is poised to join Montpellier. The move would satisfy Altrad’s conditions and enable Hamilton to leave.