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Bath add new South African to their front row ranks with van Wyk deal

By Josh Raisey
Francois van Wyk of Leicester Tigers prepares to scrummage against his opposite number during the Premiership Rugby Cup match between Leicester Tigers and Ampthill Rugby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium on September 24, 2023 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Patrick Khachfe/Getty Images)

Bath have bolstered their front row ahead of next season with the signing of loosehead prop Francois van Wyk from Gallagher Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers, as reported in Fissler Confidential.

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The 32-year-old has signed for the West Country outfit on a two-year deal, and will add to their already impressive contingent of South African props, which includes Johannes Jonker, Juan Schoeman and arguably their player of the season Thomas du Toit.

Van Wyk has spent the last three years at Welford Road, having signed from rivals Northampton Saints in 2021 after four seasons at Franklin’s Gardens.

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“From when I first spoke to Johann, it was clear to me that I wanted to join the project at Bath,” van Wyk said after signing.

“I have always enjoyed playing at The Rec and look forward to joining up with the squad for next season.”

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Bath director of rugby Johann van Graan added: “Francois will add to the power of our pack. He’s an experienced front row and experienced front rows are very valuable. I have been very impressed by Francois as a human being, and he will fit in very well at Bath.”

Leicester confirmed van Wyk’s departure last week, with general manager Richard Wilks saying: “In professional sport you invariably have to say goodbye to good people at the end of each season and with this group they are all very, very good people.”

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“All these lads have made massive contributions to the club. When we look back on the likes of Jasper, Nic and Guy; there’s a lot of pride in their development, becoming international players whilst at the club and they’ll be missed around Oval Park.

“Those guys, Scotty and Franna were also big parts in winning a Premiership title for the club. Those memories will live on past their playing careers.

“We wish all our departing players the best for the future they will always be warmly welcomed back at Leicester Tigers.”

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