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Bath confirm 'imposing second row' signing after three-week trial

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Johann van Grann has made yet another signing ahead of his first Gallagher Premiership campaign in charge at Bath, announcing that recent trialist Michael Etete has done enough to earn himself a full-time contract after three weeks at the club.

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Second row has become a major area of concern at Bath since skipper Charlie Ewels seriously injured his knee when recently touring Australia with England. Faced with the possibility of going the entire 2022/23 season minus the lock, van Graan announced the signing of ex-Ireland international Quinn Roux from Toulon on July 27.

That announcement has now been followed by the confirmation on the Bath website of another second row signing, the grassroots level Etete who has taken the universities pathway to make his breakthrough.

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A Bath statement read: “Imposing second row Michael Etete has signed for Bath for the 2022/23 season. The 6ft 7in lock, who can also play in the back row, has impressed whilst on trial during pre-season.

“A strong ball carrier with an ability to get over the gain line, Etete has featured in National 1 for both Leeds Tykes and Rams RFC over the past couple of seasons as well as starring in BUCS Super Rugby with Leeds Beckett University RFC.

“He linked up with the Blue, Black and White on day one of pre-season for an initial three-week period and has earned his first opportunity at Gallagher Premiership level.” Van Graan added: “We have been really pleased with Michael’s attitude and application so far in pre-season. He has outstanding physical attributes and a strong desire to develop all facets of his game.”

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Last week, following the recruitment of Roux as cover for the sidelined Ewels, van Grann said: “Quinn is a class lineout operator who offers great physicality to our options in the second row. He is an established international with strong rugby experience, and we are delighted to have someone of his pedigree on board.”

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