Bath Rugby’s Miles Reid and Will Vaughan have been promoted to the senior team ahead of the 2019/20 season, whilst pathway players, Archie Griffin, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, Nahum Merigan and Max Ojomoh all sign long-term contracts with the Blue, Black and White Academy.
The news further reinforces the Club’s plans to develop a core senior squad, comprising of (at least) 50% homegrown talent by 2023.
Products of the Academy, Reid and Vaughan have both featured in the Gallagher Premiership and Premiership Rugby Cup this season and will continue their development in the senior squad.
General Manager, Stuart Hooper, said: “Seeing Miles and Will progress into the senior squad for next season is a real reinforcement of the work being done to develop players and provide them with opportunities to prove and improve themselves.
“Both Miles and Will have displayed their potential to perform within the first team environment and there is a lot more to come from them both in the coming months and years. These players take a huge amount of pride in pulling on the Bath shirt, they have both been pathway players for seven and six years respectively and it’s fantastic to see all that hard work from their time in the system come to fruition.”
On the signing of his first team contract, Miles Reid added; “I’m massively pleased and honoured to have re-signed and move into the first team. Growing up it’s been a dream of mine, so to have achieved it is something I’m very proud of. I’m very excited for the future here – it’s a great place to develop and learn as a young player. Not only with the hope of our new stadium, but also the talent coming through, the future is definitely bright.”
Griffin, Hamer-Webb, Merigan and Ojomoh will tread the path of Reid and Vaughan in signing their first senior academy contracts with the Club. As four of the most promising players from the U18 group, the quartet will continue their journey with Bath Rugby where they have been working under the tutelage of Academy Pathway Coaches Ryan Davis and Mark Lilley this season.
Academy Manager, Andy Rock commented: “Signing these four young men on long-term contracts is a clear commitment from both the Club and from each of them as individuals. It is an opportunity for us to support them to become first team players with Bath Rugby and to help each of them realise their potential. Our ambition to develop a senior squad with 50% homegrown players is clear and alongside the aspiration of these four young men to develop and play at the highest level, it is an exciting time in our Academy.
"We believe that Archie, Max, Nahum and Gabe all have some key attributes that can see them emerge as Premiership players in the years to come. Not only do we all enjoy working with them, but our staff have developed incredible relationships with each and every one, which is so important as we move into this next phase of their journeys and support their transition to the senior game.”
“We have an incredibly committed group of staff in the Academy here and alongside the clubs and schools in our region that have worked with these players, they should feel proud of the work they have done to support these young men in their journeys so far”.
Will Vaughan added,“I feel very privileged to have signed my first senior deal with Bath Rugby, after being in the academy since I was 14 I feel I have really grown as a person and as a player."