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Lynagh will join Benetton from Harlequins, paving the 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 winger is the son of former Australian fly-half Michael Lynagh. He was born in Treviso, Italy, and will now join the club where his father played for five years after signing for the Queensland Reds in 1991.

“Lynagh has signed a contract which will bind him to our club from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026, with the possibility of extending the agreement until June 30, 2027,” Benetton said in a statement.

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

“We are excited to see his career develop further at Benetton and potentially in Italy. We wish him the best as he looks to build his career in Italy,” said Harlequins director of rugby Billy Millard.

Lynagh joins his hometown club Treviso and Benetton make up 17 of the 36 Italian players selected by head coach Gonzalo Quesada for the ongoing Six Nations. Benetton are currently second in the United Rugby Championship standings.

“Joining Benetton Rugby is a new challenge for me and I’m very excited. I’ve lived in England since I was four, 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 central role not only in my rugby career, but also in my life.

“He always wanted the best for me and always agreed with every decision I made. He told me that playing in Treviso would be best for me and my style of rugby .”

Lynagh joined Harlequins aged 13 and has scored 27 tries in his 58 senior appearances for the club since his debut in 2019.

His brother Tom, a former Harlequins academy player, joined the Queensland Reds in 2021, meaning it is likely the fly-half could play for Australia.

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