With only one more sleep until the 2016/17 Aviva Premiership season starts, it’s time to take a deeper look into the new players who will be joining the blue, black and white of Bath Rugby.
Luke Charteris from Racing 92 – Second Row
November last year saw Bath announce their first signing for the 2016/17 season in the shape of 6ft 9ins second-row Luke Charteris. Charteris, who has been capped 68 times by Wales, joins on a three-year deal following a two-year stay with Racing 92 where he won the Top 14 title and reached the Champions Cup final last season.
Taulupe Faletau from Newport Gwent Dragons – Number Eight
Bath’s Welsh contingent increased even more with one of the biggest coups for the upcoming season. Faletau is widely considered one of the best number eights in the World and has represented Wales on 61 occasions and was an important member of the British and Irish Lions who beat Australia in 2013. Faletau will be competing against David Denton for the number eight shirt left vacant by Leroy Houston.
Elliott Stooke from Gloucester Rugby – Second Row
Stooke arrives at Bath from West Country rivals Gloucester. The 22-year-old has represented England throughout the age groups, thus far culminating with a Saxons call up in 2014. The 6ft 7ins second row finished last season out on loan to London Irish.
Michael van Vuuren from Leicester Tigers – Hooker
South African Van Vuuren links up with Bath after leaving Leicester following his short-term contract with the Tigers. Van Vuuren has played in three of the biggest leagues in the World following stints in Super Rugby with Cheetahs and Kings and also representing Stade Francais in the Top 14.
Harry Davies from Cardiff Blues – Winger
The young Welsh winger joins Bath after only two first team appearances for Cardiff Blues. Davies spent most of his time at Welsh Premiership side Cardiff RFC where he scored nine tries in 23 appearances. At 6ft 4ins he is an imposing figure on the wing and will be hoping to get plenty of game time in the academy.
Kahn Fotuali’i from Northampton Saints – Scrum Half
Fotuali’i will add much needed experience in the scrum half position after joining Bath from Premiership rivals Northampton. The Samoan won the Aviva Premiership in 2014 with the Saints and has also played for Ospreys, Crusaders and Samoa on 28 occasions in his career. Joining Bath has allowed for Fotuali’i to link up with new Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder once again following their stint together with the Crusaders.
Jack Walker from Yorkshire Carnegie – Hooker
19-year-old Walker will join Bath after having an impactful even though short period in the Yorkshire Carnegie first team. The hooker became the clubs youngest ever forward at the age of 17 years and 160 days and broke another record when he captained the side last year at the age of 18 years and 256 days. Walker has made 21 appearances for England u20s and has appeared in three Junior World Championships, winning the prestigious title in 2014 and 2016.