Japan-bound Gill turned down Australian offer

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Former Wallabies flanker Liam Gill turned down the opportunity to return to Australia after five years in France.

Gill has spent the past three seasons with Lyon but the French team announced last week that the flanker was moving on.

His next destination has not been confirmed but it has been reported that the openside flanker is heading to Japan.

Gill was believed to have shown some interest in returning to Australia and Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson said there was an offer extended to the talented player before the pandemic struck.

Speaking on Monday in Brisbane, after news that three Queensland Reds players would be stood down over refusing to agree to pay cuts, Johnson said Gill opted against returning home.

"We spoke to Liam before the pandemic hit, we were keen to get Liam back to Australia, there was no doubt, but I think he's taken another offer somewhere else," he said.

"He didn't accept our offer."

Gill left Australia to join French club Toulon in 2015, after being overlooked at the national level, behind David Pocock and Michael Hooper.

After two seasons with Toulon, he signed with Lyon in 2017 and has been among their most consistent players.

Assistant coach Kendrick Lynn gave him high praise in the announcement of his departure.

“Liam is one of the best players I have ever seen,” he said.

“No matter the week, it didn’t matter if he was a little injured or that he was not in his best form, he was going to give everything, come out bloodied and exhausted.”