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Bath keep Russian prop as Gloucester pinch URC academy star

By Ian Cameron
Sale's Valery Morozov has been banned after red card in France (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Bath have confirmed that they will keep Russian international Valeriy Morozov, who recently joined the side following the demise of Worcester Warriors.

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Morozov is in fact returning to the club following an initial spell at the Rec during the 2021-2022 season. He was originally contracted as short-term injury cover but will now continue for the remainder of the current campaign.

The 6’3, 118kg loosehead prop made his original debut in the Heineken Champions Cup against Stade Rochelais last season, having joined from CSKA Moscow.

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The Russia international earned 28 caps and won the Premiership Rugby Cup with Sale Sharks.

“Valeriy is an excellent scrummager and is a good ball-carrying option,” Head of Rugby Johann van Graan said. “Since returning to Bath, he has settled in well and we are pleased to have him with us.”

Meanwhile, fellow Worcester Warriors survivors Ted Hill and Fergus Lee-Warner will make their first Bath starts as Van Graan makes eight changes to the starting XV for the trip to Newcastle Falcons.

Blindside flanker Hill impressed on debut in the win over Northampton Saints before committing his long-term future to the club, while versatile forward Lee-Warner has made an impact as a replacement in his two outings to date.

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Elsewhere, Gloucester have swooped for Scarlets academy player Josh Hathaway. A statement from the Welsh URC region states that: “Scarlets can confirm that full-back Josh Hathaway has been released from the Scarlets Academy for personal reasons.

“Josh, who is studying at Hartpury College, has signed a contract with Gallagher Premiership side Gloucester to join their senior academy. We wish Josh well for the future.”

BATH TEAM TO PLAY NEWCASTLE: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 George Worboys, 9 Max Green; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Dunn [CAPTAIN] , 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Quinn Roux, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Richard de Carpentier

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Jonathan Joseph

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