James Hook commits to Perpignan with new deal
JAMES Hook has finalised a fresh contract with Perpignan, one that will keep him at the Catalan club until 2017.
“Chuffed to be staying at Perpignan for 4 more years,” he announced on Twitter.
Perpignan have nailed him down well in advance of his original deal expiring, thereby scuppering the plans of any French rivals or even British clubs to lure him away.
The 28-year-old has made a huge success of his move to southern France after signing from the Ospreys ahead of the 2011-12 season.
And ultimately, the combination of enjoying the rugby and relishing Mediterranean life has persuaded Hook to remain with the Blood and Gold rather than contemplate pastures new.
“There is no reason why he would have wanted to leave,” said his agent Derwyn Jones. “He loves it over there. The rugby has been a great success and he and his family enjoy the French lifestyle. His little boy, Harrison, is speaking French and in school over there. Perpignan also think highly of James.
“He was voted supporters’ player of the year last term and the club’s new president was keen for him to recommit.
“I just think it’s great for him. In ten years’ time he will look back and think what a great life experience he had out in France.”
Able to play fly-half, centre or full-back, Hook has nonetheless been marginalised by Wales, with the ex-Neath man restricted to a bit-part role during last year’s Six Nations, while he also missed out on a Lions’ spot this summer.
But he has continued to shine for Perpignan and, just as importantly, is happy at the club.
“He’s a loyal boy,” said Jones. “He’s only had two clubs in his professional career and has really settled with Perpignan.”