Bath Rugby has confirmed nine new additions to the squad for the 2022/23 season!
Exciting young talents JJ Tonks and Louie Hennessey arrive at the Rec from Northampton Saints and Cardiff Rugby respectively. England international Piers Francis will also join the club from Saints while Dave Attwood will be returning from Bristol Bears.
Chris Cloete, Louis Schreuder, Niall Annett, Matt Gallagher and Wesley White will also be joining the Blue, Black and White in the summer from Munster Rugby, Newcastle Falcons, Worcester Warriors and Jersey Reds respectively.
As well as seven new faces, the likes of Jonathan Joseph, Will Muir, Beno Obano, Orlando Bailey and Max Ojomoh have all committed their futures to Bath Rugby which makes next season an exciting prospect.
JJ TONKS & LOUIE HENNESSEY
Position: Lock, Back Row
Previous Clubs: Gloucester Rugby, Northampton Saints
Honours: England Sevens Youth, England U18
Formerly of Gloucester Academy, Tonks is a physical back row who also plays second row. He captained Hartpury College to a prestigious AASE League title in 2017, the same year he received international recognition.
The 21-year-old won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games with England Sevens ahead of England Under-18s and Under-20s honours.
Most recently with Northampton Saints, Tonks has Premiership and European experience, making 23 appearances in total whilst at Franklin’s Gardens.
Previous Clubs: Hartpury College, Cardiff RFC, Cardiff Rugby U18
Honours: Wales U18
Hennessey arrives at the Rec from Cardiff Rugby having earned a reputation for his natural skillset and clinical finishing at youth level.
The centre enjoyed a successful 2021 at Hartpury College, helping his side to 10 wins from 10 in the ACE League and featured for Wales Under-18s for the first time in this season’s U18 Six Nations Festival.
He will balance his studies and rugby whilst at the University of Bath.
Position: Fly-half, Centre
Previous Clubs: Auckland, Waikato, Counties Manukau, Blues, Edinburgh Rugby, Doncaster Knights, Northampton Saints
Born in Gravesend, Francis was a member of the Saracens Academy in his teens before moving to New Zealand aged 18 where he played provincial rugby for both Auckland and Waikato.
He returned to the UK with Edinburgh in 2012 and after injury, rediscovered his form in the Championship with Doncaster Knights before heading back to the Southern Hemisphere for further ITM Cup rugby with Counties Manukau.
After a strong showing in a side coached by Tana Umaga, Francis followed the All Black great to Super Rugby franchise Blues for the 2016 season, scoring 117 points in 24 matches.
In 2017, the versatile back was signed by Northampton Saints and was subsequently selected by England for a summer tour of Argentina, where he earned two caps, crossing the whitewash once.
Francis has nine caps to his name in total and appeared at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The 31-year-old has collected 197 points in 83 Premiership, European and Premiership Rugby Cup games.
Previous Clubs: Bristol Bears, Gloucester, Bath, Toulon
A man who needs no introduction.
Attwood made 157 appearances in Blue, Black and White over an eight-year period during his first spell at the club.
His debut came against Newcastle Falcons at the beginning of the 2011/12 season after arriving from Gloucester, scoring four tries in his first campaign.
The lock quickly established himself as a key player in the Bath pack and excelled at international level too, with 22 of his 24 England caps coming whilst at the Rec.
Attwood’s formidable presence at the set-piece and his power game have earned him plaudits aplenty over the years and he was an important part of Bath’s journey to the 2014/15 Premiership final.
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 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.