Ben White set for Toulon move as Scarlets sign Alex Craig

France's Challenge Cup winners will complete the signing of Scotland scrum-half in the coming days

Ben White marked his Scotland debut in style with his team's opening try. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ben White scored on his Scotland debut last year against England. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

BEN White, who started all five of Scotland’s Six Nations games this year, is close to agreeing a move to Toulon, according to reports in France. The 25-year-old scrum-half was left without a club when London Irish went into administration last week, but quickly attracted interest from a number of potential players, including, it is understood, Scottish Rugby. 

A Leicester Tigers  player prior to joining Irish in 2021, White was born in Stoke-on-Trent and played for England Under-20s before switching allegiances at the start of 2022. He qualifies for the national team by virtue of having a Scottish-born grandparent.

If and when the move to the Challenge Cup holders is completed, White will begin his time in the south of France as back-up No 9 to Baptiste Serin, who ended the season in superb form. However, judging by the way in which White established himself as Scotland’s first-choice scrum-half this year, Serin can expect fierce competition for the jersey.

White was linked with a move north of the Border from the minute that Irish entered administration, and would have been a major asset for either Edinburgh or Glasgow. However, his arrival at either team could have caused a logjam in the position, with the Warriors already having Ali Price, George Horne and Jamie Dobie competing for a start, while Edinburgh have Ben Vellacott, Charlie Shiel in addition to new signing Scott Steele. 

Meanwhile, twice-capped lock Alex Craig has joined Scarlets from Gloucester. The 26-year-old, whose Scotland appearances were both off the bench in 2021, has not made it into Gregor Townsend’s World Cup training squad.

“Alex is a young, athletic lock, who will add international quality to our pack of forwards,” Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said earlier today as the Llanelli-based team announced the signing.

Craig said: “This is a fresh start playing in an exciting competition that is the URC. Scarlets are a big club with a proud fan base and play a real exciting brand of rugby. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

About Stuart Bathgate 1412 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

3 Comments

  1. Will be a decent pay day for him, and being in that environment will have some benefits, but surely being a back up player is going to hurt his international chances.

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