Bath Rugby back rower Zach Mercer has signed a senior contract extension, which will see the Academy player promoted to the senior squad and commit his future to the Club until the end of the 2018/19 season.
Mercer, the son of New Zealand Rugby League international Gary Mercer, made his first team debut in a 58-5 victory against Newcastle in September last year, and has gone on to establish himself as a regular in the first team squad this season.
A strong ball carrier and a formidable force in defence, the 19-year-old flanker has shown his dedication and desire to progress during his time with the Club. He will have the opportunity to continue his rich vein of form on to the international scene after being called up to the England U20 squad for the forthcoming U20 Six Nations, which gets underway tomorrow with England hosting France at Sandy Park.
On his new deal with Bath, a delighted Mercer said: “I didn’t hesitate to extend my contract with Bath, as this is where I see my future. There is a real emphasis on developing players and the coaches have real faith in you, which as a young player at the start of my career I really value. There’s a fantastic atmosphere around the Club, it’s a very ambitious place, and I’m really looking forward to being part of that over the coming seasons.
“It’s been a breakthrough year for me and to be playing regularly in the first team is a great feeling. It’s going to be a huge second half of the season and I’m really looking forward to playing my part on and off the field.”
Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, added: “Zach is one of the brightest prospects in English rugby and a huge part of the future at the Club. We are thrilled to have secured his services and he will undoubtedly be a huge asset over the next few years.
“He has shown maturity beyond his years in the way he has stepped up to the first team and he has taken full advantage of his opportunities. There is a real focus here to develop the guys to not only play for Bath, but also to establish them at international level, which is a real target for someone like Zach.”