2020/21 Squad Update

5 June 2020

With individual training in small groups due to start in the coming weeks, Bath Rugby can confirm the latest squad update, which includes three further new signings for the 2020/21 campaign.  

Ben Spencer has put pen to paper on a three-year deal and his arrival brings huge benefit to the Bath Squad. Spencer is well-known for his accurate kicking game and ability to provide quick ball from the breakdown. These skillsets coupled his work ethic and desire to succeed have seen his performances in the Premiership and Europe stand out in recent seasons. 

The Club’s focus on the scrum-half position has been clear when looking ahead to the future. Spencer’s addition is seen as a crucial and exciting piece of recruitment as work continues to progress off-the-field to develop the senior squad for 2020/21 and beyond. 

A supporter favourite, Will Spencer, returns to the Club. Spencer came through the Bath Rugby academy spending four years developing with Blue, Black and White. Since then the abrasive lock has played for Worcester Warriors before joining Leicester Tigers in 2018. Spencer is an imposing figure on the field and dominates primarily in the second row. His physicality gives the Club yet another powerful option to complement its set piece and the 28 year old is hungry to return to the South West.  

Juan Schoeman moves to Bath from Durban-based franchise, The Sharks. The 28-year-old is disciplined in the tough art of front-row combat having scrummed his way through and up the various age-group ranks in South Africa culminating in Junior Springbok selection for the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2011. Schoeman is a reliable and skilful front-row operator and will add further dominance to Bath’s already formidable front five.   

Josh Matavesi, who joined the Club mid-season has made a clear impact in his short time in a Bath shirt. Matavesi’s attributes that will allow him to open up Bath’s attacking game in order to generate momentum and create tries. A genuine ball carrying threat, with the ability to run, pass and kick, the Fijian international, who plays at 10 and 12, is now committed to the Club for the next two seasons.  

Finally, Cameron Redpath, who joined the Club in February is yet to pull on the Blue, Black and White. The 20-year-old played a significant part in the U20 World Championships in Argentina in 2019 and linked up again with Jones and the England squad this year ahead of the Guinness Six Nations clash against Ireland. Redpath brings a different dimension to Bath’s midfield, with the additional options of being able to play at 10 or 15. His wide skillset is a strong addition to the squad, both in the short-term and long-term.

Contract Extensions 

The club can confirm that Max Clark will continue his career as a home-grown player with Bath Rugby, after progressing through the Academy and joining the Club full-time ahead of the 2014/15 season. Clark’s ball carrying ability alongside his defensive strengths allow him to impact the momentum of a game and his re-signing is important for the club moving into next season. 

Max Green has also agreed a contract extension with the Blue Black and White, following an injury hit season for the scrum half, where he has been limited to two just appearances. The 24 year-old former U20 World Cup winner has made 27 senior appearances for Bath Rugby since his debut against London Irish in 2017, with his performances having shown huge signs of promise with his speed and quality of service having a hugely positive impact on Bath’s attack when he has played. He will progress into the future and really challenge for the scrum-half shirt.

Henry Thomas has also put pen to paper, the prop has signed a one-year deal and is relishing the opportunity to play for the Blue, Black and White again. After an injury hit start to the campaign Henry has worked incredibly hard and will be challenging our other tight heads for game time.

The extensions of Max, Max and Henry follow Sam Underhill, Max Wright, Jack Walker and Tom Ellis all recommitting their futures earlier this year. 

Returning from Injury 

The Club also celebrate many other talented players returning from injury, all of whom have worked incredibly hard with its Performance Department to come back stronger and will make a huge impact.

In addition to Max Green and Max Clark; Joe Cokanasiga, Darren Atkins, Henry Thomas and Miles Reid all return to the Senior Squad. 

These men have had limited chance to appear this season, with only Henry Thomas and Max Clark able to feature in the Gallagher Premiership. 

50% Home Grown by 2023  

Gabe Hamer-Webb has committed his long-term future to our Club by signing a senior contract. The emergence of Gabe is a real reinforcement of the work that’s going on within the Bath Rugby pathway, and the kind of potential that exists beneath the senior squad at the club. The moments that have been witnessed on the field from Gabe, such as his try-scoring debut against Ulster in the Champions Cup, are underpinned by his years of hard work and dedication

Gabe’s promotion follows recent progression of home-grown players Tom de Glanville, Miles Reid and Will Vaughan into the Senior quad, and this shows the way for fellow U20 Internationals this year, Max Ojomoh, Nahum Merigan and Archie Griffin who will no doubt work hard to earn opportunities and to also push for a senior contract in the coming year.  

The Club also share the outstanding news that seven players will progress from its U18 Academy group into the Senior Academy. 

Orlando Bailey, Gabe Goss, John Stewart, Ethan Staddon, Ewan Richards, Frankie Read and Tom Carr-Smith have all committed their futures to Bath Rugby 

This group of high potential players already hold well-established relationships with the likes of George WorboysGabe Hamer Webb, Max Ojomoh, and Nahum Merigan, many of them having played for the Club and for England together at various different ages and stages of their development.

The strength of potential that exists beneath the senior squad; a group who will be striving to press their cases for game-time next year and towards future senior-contracts is as strong as it has ever been. 

Retirement  

The club announced earlier this year that World Cup winner François Louw also proudly hangs up his boots - the 34-year-old Springbok is one of the longest-serving players in Bath Rugby’s squad, having been with the Club for nine seasons in what has been an incredible domestic and international career. Fittingly, the famous Blue, Black and White shirt will be the last he pulls on as a professional player, after making over 140 appearances for the Club and settling in the City with his young family.

Departing Players

This year the Club says thank you and an emotional goodbye to a number of players including Lucas Noguera who has made significant contributions to our Foundation as well as our Club.

Sam Nixon departs to experience the Top 14, signing for French side BayonneThe Blue, Black and White also say farewell to Levi Douglas, Will Britton, and Jack Davies who have delivered some brilliant performances this season.  

From the backs, Freddie Burns leaves the South West to join Tokyo-based Toyota Shokki Shuttles in Japan’s Rugby Top League. 

Chris Cook is joining local rivals Bristol Bears and Jackson Willison heads over the channel to French club, Soyaux. Rhys Webb and Rhys Davies are joining the Ospreys and finally the Club says a thank you to Alex DaviesAled Brew, Tom HomerLevi Davis who will all be hugely missed when they leave the Club at the end of this month.   

Finally, we pledge a heart felt thank you to our club captain, Matt Garveywho has led the squad out on countless occasions and contributed so significantly to our journey.  

The Club will publish an article on all departing players over the coming weeks to share their highlights and give the individual thanks they deserve for their service. 

Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper commented; 

“I would like to say a huge thank you to our departing players for everything they have given to our club.  As a group we have enjoyed seeing them perform in the Blue, Black and White and they have all made their mark in the jersey. 

“I would like to share my personal thanks to Matt Garvey, our Club captain for two seasons for his care, passion and performances for the club. This season is strange and due to rugby not being played we do not have the same opportunity to deliver the traditional send off at the Rec. We wish these lads well for their futures and share many memories that will last a lifetime. 

Our recruitment this year brings us the opportunity to build on our start of 19/20, to continue to develop our game and keep building the relationships that will drive us.  Ben, Will and Juan all bring strong attributes which will develop our game. They are all crucially young men who want to improve and be part of our success.  

“I feel incredibly proud of our pathway and the quality we are delivering there, to bring seven players up this season is testament to the players themselves but alsthe work of the Academy staff over many years. To add seven more home grown players into our full-time environment is a great sign of commitment to our vision and to the talented young men who exist in our region. 

Our recruitment cycle is not completely finished yet, we continue to work on our squad and this year presents opportunities not found in other cycles. The fact remains that we will not bring just anyone into the environment. They must be the right fit not only for the short term but for future years.   

Departures

  • Lucas Noguera
  • Levi Douglas
  • Sam Nixon
  • Will Britton
  • Matt Garvey
  • Jack Davies
  • Freddie Burns
  • Alex Davies
  • Aled Brew
  • Chris Cook
  • Tom Homer
  • Jackson Willison
  • Rhys Webb
  • Levi Davis
  • Rhys Davies

Retirement

  • Francois Louw

New Signings

  • Ben Spencer (Saracens)
  • Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers)
  • Juan Schoeman (The Sharks)
  • Josh Matavesi (Mid Season signing and extension - Newcastle Falcons)
  • Cameron Redpath (Mid Season Signing - Sale Sharks)

Contract Extensions

  • Sam Underhill
  • Jack Walker
  • Max Clark
  • Max Green
  • Max Wright
  • Tom Ellis
  • Henry Thomas

Promoted to Senior Squad

  • Gabriel Hamer-Webb

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