Aviva Premiership
Booth declares interest in Gopperth
ESPNscrum Staff
January 7, 2012
Newcastle fly-half Jimmy Gopperth lines up a kick, London Irish v Newcastle Falcons, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, February 12, 2011
Jimmy Gopperth is one of the most accurate goal kickers in the Premiership © Getty Images

London Irish boss Toby Booth has admitted he is keen on bringing Newcastle Falcons fly-half Jimmy Gopperth to the Madejski Stadium.

The 28-year-old New Zealand half-back's signature is in high demand following another season of impressive performances for the Aviva Premiership bottom side and with his contract up at the end of the season, he will have numerous offers on the table. And despite the Falcons claiming that they expect their star player to stay earlier in the week, Booth has set his stall out claiming he is in pursuit of the former Auckland Blues man.

"We are absolutely in pursuit of Jimmy Gopperth," Booth told the Reading Post. "Now the transfer window is open I know a lot of clubs are interested in Jimmy.

"He is a quality player and I know Newcastle are desperate to keep him, but we would like to court Jimmy because it is important that we move forward. We are waiting for a decision on Dan Bowden, but you cannot sit and wait to see what happens."

And with fellow fly-half Bowden's contract up at the end of the season, Booth is hoping he can keep the former Crusaders man at the Exiles. But he does concede that any decision that Bowden has to make over his future is partly dependent on his international prospects with the Kiwi fly-half able to qualify for England if desired.

"We are waiting for Dan to come back to us," Booth said. "There are a couple of situations that need to be resolved so that we can get a decision from him. That's fine. We would love to keep him."

But while Booth is looking to bolster his ranks ahead of next season, question marks surround the futures of both Delon Armitage and Nick Kennedy with Top 14 big-spenders Toulon reportedly chasing their signatures.

Booth, however, admits that he has not heard that either of the England internationals are departing the Madejski. Booth said: "No-one has come to me to speak about that - and I have spoken to everyone.

"I understand that professional sport is what it is. People have to do right for themselves as well as the team. But I have had no concrete evidence to tell me that either of those are going."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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