Watson to depart after nine seasons

12 May 2022

Anthony Watson’s nine-season stay at Bath Rugby will come to an end this summer with the 28-year-old set to join Leicester Tigers. 

The England international joined the Blue, Black and White in 2013, debuting in a 21-0 away win over Newcastle Falcons, and has made 126 appearances to date, scoring 32 tries.

His dedication to his craft whilst at the Rec has seen him earn over 50 caps for his country and selection on two British & Irish Lions tours.

Everyone at Bath Rugby would like to thank Anthony for everything he has given to the club and wish him, and his family, all the best for the future.

“I’ve loved my time at Bath Rugby, it’s given me everything I could’ve hoped for and more off the field,” Watson said.

“I leave still gutted I wasn’t able to contribute to real success in the organisation. I made it no secret my desire to win something with the club, so leaving having not done that is a real shame. My commitment to that never wavered.

“There’s too many people to thank, ultimately everyone plays a role in your career both good and bad. I think looking all the way back I’d like to thank Mike Ford for believing in me and bringing me to the club in the first place. Dave Williams and Tabai Matson for their philosophy which taught me so much about the sport and myself. Todd for trusting me in a leadership role. Most importantly staff wise I must thank Neal Hatley; loyalty is difficult to find at times but I can honestly say that Hats has had my back from a young boy and helped me no end into being the player I am today. The lads know how I feel about them - I love my teammates.

“I’m gutted I wasn’t able to win with my best friends in JJ and Beno but have had some of the best moments of my life on and off the field in the company of these two. I can’t thank them enough for just being themselves. To the rest of my teammates I’m so appreciative of everything you’ve given me in terms of time, laughs and lessons. I will miss you.

“The fans have been amazing since minute one. Seeing how you support the lads throughout the highs and lows is inspiring – Ultimately, I am disappointed I didn’t have the opportunity to continue to help bring a trophy to the city of Bath, which is what the fans deserve.”

Head Coach Neal Hatley added: “I have been privileged to work with Ant since he was 13 and have watched him develop into a 50-cap England international and double British & Irish Lion.

“He’s one of the hardest working people I know and his success comes as no surprise. His resilience and desire to be the best he can be and get better every day is not only evident in his work day-to-day but has allowed him to bounce back from big injuries.

“He’s of the best and most loyal players I’ve ever worked with. His desire to win, infectious laughter and brilliant attitude will be missed at the club. I can’t talk about him highly enough as a person first and then a player.

“We wish Ant, Alyse and Kai all the very best for their future.”


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