Bath Rugby is delighted to announce that Freddie Burns will return to Bath Rugby, where he started his career in the Academy, for the 2017/18 season.
A dynamic, clever and instinctive fly-half, 26 year-old Burns has made over 60 appearances for Leicester since he moved to the East Midlands in 2014. The former Beechen Cliff School pupil represented his country at both U20 and England Saxons level, before making his senior England debut in 2012 against the All Blacks, and taking part in the subsequent tours of Argentina and New Zealand.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Bath next season,” said Burns. “The opportunity for me to represent my hometown club is one I have dreamt of from the day I started playing rugby. I am looking forward to working under Todd Blackadder and being part of a young and ambitious team to bring more success to the Club. You can see they are building something really exciting in the way they are playing, and the clear bond and team spirit between the players is key to that. It will be great to be part of that.”
Bath’s Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, added: “We are really excited to be working with Freddie next season. He is a fantastic player, who has really developed into an all-encompassing fly-half in the last couple of years and I’m looking forward to seeing that fit into our game here. We’ve now got two international fly-halves signed for next season in Freddie and Rhys Priestland, and I’ve no doubt that both will play a key role for us going forward.”
The Club can also confirm that George Ford will leave at the end of the season to join Leicester Tigers.
Tarquin McDonald, Managing Director at Bath, said: “We look forward to Freddie joining the squad for the 2017/18 season and to welcoming him back to Bath. We have some ambitious plans for the Club’s future and Freddie is a key part of them.
“We are of course sorry to lose George and wish him well, but we have been in discussions about his future for some time and are glad we have now been able to conclude this matter positively. The agreement with Leicester suits all sides, with Bath securing not just appropriate compensation, but most importantly an excellent new player. “
Ford commented: “This hasn’t been an easy decision for me to make, but I feel it is the best one for me at this time. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Bath and have worked with some incredible players and coaches. I know I have developed hugely as a player because of that.”
Blackadder concluded: “We are naturally disappointed that George has decided to leave. He is a great player and I have enjoyed working with him, and know that he will give us his all until the end of the season. We have a great season ahead of us this year, and in 2017/18 and beyond.”