Bath Rugby has now confirmed five new additions to the squad for the 2022/23 season!
Powerful flanker Chris Cloete (Munster) is the latest new signing to be announced with Louis Schreuder, Niall Annett, Matt Gallagher and Wesley White also joining the Blue, Black and Whites in the summer from Newcastle Falcons, Worcester Warriors, Munster Rugby and Jersey Reds respectively.
Here’s some more insight on our new recruits.
Position: Back Row
Previous Clubs: Sharks, Western Province, Kandy, Southern Kings, Pumas, Munster
Honours: South Africa Schools, South Africa ‘A’
Cloete bolsters the Blue, Black and White’s power options in the back five, and has been established himself as a key component of the Munster pack since joining the Irish province in 2017.
His powerful carrying and destructive defence has earned him fan favourite status in Limerick. His excellent breakdown skills are a highlighted attribute with the 31-year-old awarded the 2020/21 Pro14 Turnover King prize, winning the ball back 14 times in eight matches – most of which were jackals.
Prior to his move to Ireland, Cloete played for the Southern Kings, Western Province and Pumas and received international honours for South Africa ‘A’ in 2017 where he was instrumental in a 48-28 win against French Barbarians, scoring two tries.
South African born, Cloete also represented South Africa Schools in his late teens, featuring against Italy and England whilst with the Border Bulldogs.
Previous Clubs: Western Province, Stormers, Kubota Spears, Southern Kings, Sharks, Toulon, Newcastle Falcons
Honours: South Africa
A three-time Currie Cup winner, Schreuder came through the ranks at Western Province and was vice-captain of South Africa Under-20s when he made his senior debut for the Cape Town side in 2010.
He has over 100 Super Rugby caps to his name following spells with The Stormers, Southern Kings and The Sharks.
The South African was capped by the Springboks in 2017, playing against Wales, and has been involved in their matchday squad no less than 19 times.
Schreuder also has experience of playing in Japan and France having spent time with Kubota Spears and Toulon before arriving in the North East of England at Newcastle Falcons.
He has featured in the Gallagher Premiership 29 times to date and also has European caps to his name. He will strengthen the Bath Rugby squad in a key position.
Previous Clubs: Ulster, Worcester Warriors
Honours: Ireland U20, Emerging Ireland
Annett has been a consistent, outstanding performer in the Premiership since joining Worcester Warriors in 2014.
Known for his strong leadership skills, the 30-year-old came through at Ulster and captained Ireland Under-20s at the 2011 Junior World Championship.
He debuted for the Ulster senior side in the same year and signed his first senior contract ahead of the 2012/13 campaign.
In his first season at Worcester, Annett featured 22 times and helped the Warriors to British & Irish Cup success and it was his last-minute try in the 2014/15 Greene King IPA Championship Final first leg which proved crucial in Worcester’s promotion back to the top flight.
Annett has been Worcester’s first-choice hooker since 2016 and departs Sixways having made over 120 appearances for Steve Diamond’s team including 87 Premiership appearances to date.
Position: Full-back, wing
Previous Clubs: Saracens, Munster
Honours: England U20
Gallagher joined the Saracens Academy at 14-years-old and earned a senior debut for the north London outfit against Ospreys in the 2014/15 LV= Cup before starring for England Under-20s in their 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship-winning campaign.
He made his European bow in 2016/17 and in total, scored nine tries in over 50 appearances for Saracens whilst playing a huge part in their Premiership Rugby Shield success in 2019.
The full-back moved to Munster in 2020 and debuted against Edinburgh Rugby in the United Rugby Championship and crossed for his first two Munster tries against Dragons in November 2020.
A strong and talented individual with an impressive running game, Gallagher is ready to make a successful return to the Premiership and realise his full potential.
Position: Back Row
Previous Clubs: The Sharks, Montauban, Austin Gilgronis, Jersey Reds
During his career to date, White has experienced rugby in South Africa, France, USA and England.
Growing up, he attended Bishops College in Cape Town and represented the school’s 1st XV as a flanker in 2013 and also played for the Western Province Under-18s.
A year out of school, the now 26-year-old moved to Durban to join The Sharks as a hooker before moving overseas to France with Pro D2 side Montauban.
His studies then took him to the United States at Lindenwood University in Missouri and in his three years there, he became a two-time Collegiate Rugby Championship winner and trained with the USA Eagles Sevens team. He also gained gained Major League Rugby experience at Austin Gilgronis.
White earned a trial with the Blitzboks at the National Sevens Academy in Stellenbosch ahead of a switch to the Championship with Jersey Reds.
The talented back row is now eager to seize his opportunity to thrive at the highest level of rugby in England with the Blue, Black and Whites.