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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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J
Jon 1 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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