3 Jan 2017

Pau keen on Ben Smith

6:53 am on 3 January 2017

Reports in France say All Black Ben Smith isn't far away from signing a deal to move there.

Smith has reportedly attracted a big money offer from French outfit Pau.

Ben Smith pins his ears back.

Ben Smith pins his ears back. Photo: Photosport

Midi Olympique claims the utility back is on the verge of signing a deal which would reunite him with former team-mate Conrad Smith.

Ben Smith's contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union expires in June after the British and Irish Lions series.

The full-back is still only 30 years old and had an outstanding 2016 season for club and country, resulting in him being voted into various Team of the Year publications.

There is also uncertainty over Israel Dagg's future with various French clubs rumoured to be after his signature. Like Smith, Dagg's contract runs out in 2017.

Last month New Zealand Rugby said it had tabled its final deals for Smith, Dagg and Aaron Cruden, and says it will give them the time they need to make a decision.

While conceding New Zealand Rugby would never be able to match the big money bids from overseas, NZR chief executive Steve Tew said they had done all they could to retain the services of the three key backs.