Lynagh to join Benetton from Harlequins, paving way for Italy call-up

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Louis Lynagh will leave Harlequins for Italian club Benetton at the end of the current season, both clubs announced on Monday, increasing speculation that the former England Under-20 player could declare for Italy.

The 23-year-old wing is the son of former Australian flyhalf Michael Lynagh, and was born in Treviso, Italy, and will now join the club where his father played for five years after signing from Queensland Reds in 1991.

"Lynagh has signed a contract that will bind him to our club from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026, with the option to extend the agreement until June 30, 2027," Benetton said in a statement.

Louis is eligible to play internationally for England, Australia and Italy, and has been approached by Italy before. Lynagh was called up to an England training squad by Eddie Jones in 2021, but has yet to make a senior appearance.

"We're excited to watch his career develop further at Benetton and potentially for Italy. We wish him the very best as he seeks to build his career in Italy," Harlequins Director of Rugby Billy Millard said.

Lynagh is joining the club of his birthplace, Treviso, and Benetton supply 17 of the 36-man Italy squad selected by head coach Gonzalo Quesada for the current Six Nations. Benetton are currently second in the United Rugby Championship standings.

"Joining Benetton Rugby is a new challenge for me, which I'm very excited about. I've been living in England since I was four-years-old but Italy and Treviso have always been in my heart," Lynagh said.

"I was born in Treviso, my mother was born in Treviso and my grandfather lives there with other family members. My father played a pivotal role not only in my rugby career, but also in my life.

"He always wanted the best for me and always agreed with any decision I made. He told me that playing in Treviso will be the best for me and my style of rugby."

Lynagh joined Harlequins at the age of 13, and has scored 27 tries in his 58 senior appearances for the club since making his debut in 2019.

His brother Tom, formerly a Harlequins academy player, joined Queensland Reds in 2021, meaning it is likely the flyhalf could play wi...

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