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Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam

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Bath sign former England lock Dave Attwood

By Ian Cameron
Dave Attwood of England looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Italy at Twickenham Stadium on February 14, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Bath are set to sign former England lock Dave Attwood from Bristol Bears – the powerful forward returning to the Gallagher Premiership side he left three years ago.

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According to widespread reports, Attwood has signed a two-year deal with the Gallagher Premiership strugglers.

Attwood was sent out on loan in 2018 to Toulon, a move that reinvigorated the 6’5, 119kg forward. After a brief return to Bath, he signed for Bristol Bears, where he has spent the last three seasons.

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Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “Dave has been an excellent servant to Bears during his time with the club. He’s been a key part of our leadership group and a positive ambassador for our Bears Team Culture.

“We are grateful to Dave for everything he has contributed and he can be proud of what he has achieved in a Bristol shirt. Dave leaves with our best wishes at the end of the season and we know he will be fully invested in helping us finish the campaign strongly.”

Attwood added: “I’m so grateful to Pat, the Lansdown family, and Chris Booy, for the opportunities they have afforded me with the Bears. I will obviously be fully committed through to the end of the season.

“I will be sorry to close this chapter of my career as the Bears has been such an exciting story to be a part of and I look forward to concluding the season with my teammates.”

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Attwood won 24 caps for England between 2010 and 2018.

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Speaking to RugbyPass last year, Attwood said that when he returned to England after his loan spell in Toulon he was a transformed player. “I realised when I went to Toulon that I had been stuck in a rut. I was 30 and not really enjoying rugby. I was privileged to be playing, I recognised that, I was very fortunate to be able to do what I did but I didn’t love what I did to get out of bed in the morning, I wasn’t excited to go to work.

“Getting out of the environment I had been in for seven years, getting out to Toulon, that opened my eyes and I came back in my last season at Bath, I was players’ player of the year, I was loving rugby again and I had broken out of the mindset of functional, pragmatic rugby that you often get drawn into. The Premiership is a very gruelling mistress and it’s very easy to get segwayed into playing that very narrow, restricted brand of rugby.”

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