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Rugby: Dunn battles big clubs over pro star
DIRECTOR of rugby David Dunn has revealed that ambitious Bournemouth are battling two French clubs for the services of an ex-professional marquee signing.
Dunn says Lions are trying to land the mystery star in the face of fierce competition from Carcassonne and another French outfit, as well as domestic rivals Esher.
While he politely declined to reveal the identity of the transfer target, the Daily Echo understands local lad Ben Stevenson could be a target.
The former England under-16s half-back, who has spent time in the pro game with Northampton Saints, London Irish and London Welsh, represented both Bournemouth and Oakmeadians earlier in his career.
Dunn told the Daily Echo: “We are chasing a player who is currently a professional on the books of London Welsh, who have just been promoted to the Premiership.
“We are fighting the French club Carcassonne as well as another French club and Esher, who were relegated from the Championship last season.”
If Lions manage to get their man, he will be joining a number of other new faces in the club’s ranks.
Following promotion to National Two South, Bournemouth have embarked on a recruitment drive during the close-season.
Dunn has swooped for ex-England schoolboy and student international fly-half George Drake and back row duo Max Neary and Luke Andrews.
“We are not being disrespectful to the players we have got in the squad but, from the outset, everybody has agreed that we need a greater strength in depth this season,” said Dunn.
“These people will just add a little bit more experience and expertise for the campaign ahead.”
Drake looks a particularly astute capture as his CV shows a mixture of international pedigree and previous experience of English rugby’s fourth tier.
Dunn will run the rule over his men when they play their first pre-season friendly against Gravesend at Chapel Gate this afternoon (2.30pm).