John Barclay talks to Lyon about French leave

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Glasgow Warriors flanker John Barclay could be set to link up with fellow Scot Tom Smith at French outfit Lyon.

Local media have reported that the 26-year-old is in advanced negotiations with the ProD2 club and paid a visit last week. Irish international back row player Neil Best, who is currently with Worcester, also made the trip.

Lyon, whose coaching team includes Smith, spent heavily after being relegated from the top flight last season, with French star Sebastien Chabal among their big-name signings. After a poor start to the campaign, a recent upturn in form has increased the chances of a top five finish and a place in the promotion play offs – potentially a factor in Barclay’s decision.

The player has also been linked with a move to Leicester Tigers, although with Julian Salvi signing a contract extension, that avenue appears to be less likely.

Lyon president Yann Roubert has been seeking an experienced coach to support Smith and Xavier Sadourny. The possible arrival of Sir Clive Woodward appears to have been ruled out, with the Englishman considered too expensive. The focus has now switched to Gonzalo Quesada, currently at Racing Metro, and former Bath coach Steve Meehan.

Earlier this month Barclay announced his intention to leave Glasgow at the end of the season. The 41-times capped flanker has been with the Warriors since the age of 17, after joining as an apprentice in 2004. He missed the Six Nations with a hamstring injury.

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