Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Au Revoir to Brive as Flutey Sets Sights on Wasps Return; the 30-Year-Old England Centre Is Poised to Rejoin His Former Club after Snubbing an Offer from Munster. EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Au Revoir to Brive as Flutey Sets Sights on Wasps Return; the 30-Year-Old England Centre Is Poised to Rejoin His Former Club after Snubbing an Offer from Munster. EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

ENGLAND centre Riki Flutey is set to quit Brive and return to London Wasps despite being offered a lucrative contract by Munster. Flutey left Wasps at the end of last season to join the French club's England contingent of Andy Goode, Steve Thompson and Jamie Noon. However, Goode has decided to move to the Sharks in Durban before linking up with Worcester for next season's Guinness Premiership campaign and Flutey is also on his way.

Flutey was expected to fill a midfield vacancy at the powerful Munster province in Ireland but it is understood Wasps have succeeded with a late bid to convince the 30-year-old to rejoin their squad.

Their financial hand had been improved by Danny Cipriani signing a two-year deal with Melbourne Rebels, removing him from the wage bill which has to operate under the [pounds sterling]4million English salary cap restrictions.

Flutey is preparing to take on Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday and a return to Wasps would a be a major boost for England team manager Martin Johnson, who has been locked in a row with Stade Francai s a f t e r James Haskell (right) was refused permission to play against Toulouse. The French club expected Haskell to be released as this was a noninternational weekend but England had been assured by his lawyer that an agreement was in place to allow the flanker to be treated as if he was working under the Elite Player Squad system covering Guinness Premiership players.

This allows Johnson to retain players he believes should not be risked a week before a big match, and the furore created by Stade has convinced Rugby Football Union chiefs to ensure that similar rows are not allowed to affect preparations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign next season.

Reducing the number of potential World Cup squad men playing in France has obvious benefits for England, and Flutey will have a major role to play in that tournament.

Wasps moved into fourth place in the Premiership, thanks to a 24-19 win over Gloucester yesterday with Dave Walder -- chosen ahead of Cipriani -- scoring 19 points, including a try, to offer real hope that the former champions could grab a play-off place. …

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