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'Extremely valuable, talented individual': Bath sign Piers Francis

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Bath have confirmed they have signed England midfielder Piers Francis 21 days after Northampton revealed he would be leaving them at the end of the season. It was April 7 when the Saints outlined that Francis, along with Ahsee Tuala, Api Ratuniyarawa and Taqele Naiyaravoro, would all exit Franklin’s Gardens with Phil Dowson set to succeed Chris Boyd as director of rugby.

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The 31-year-old Francis, who can also play out-half, has now quickly secured his future after being an influential figure in the Northampton backline for the past five seasons.

Bath CEO Tarquin McDonald told the club website: “Piers’ experience will prove extremely valuable. He is a talented individual who will complement the young group of backs we have at the club.”

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Francis, who represented England at the 2019 World Cup as well as playing for the Blues in Super Rugby, added: “With the players the club currently has and the ones that have been recruited, it is an exciting fresh start for me. Every time I have played at the Rec you feel the buzz from the supporters. I can’t wait to play in front of them and help the club progress.”

Francis is the latest signing unveiled by Bath who are looking to transform their fortunes next season with a rejigged coaching set-up under the director of rugby, Stuart Hooper. They are currently 13th and last on the Gallagher Premiership table but are hoping to lift themselves up the table with three games remaining in the 2021/21 season. 

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Ex-England lock Dave Attwood is another who will join Bath for next season from Bristol along with Munster duo Chris Cloete and Matt Gallagher, Newcastle’s Louis Schreuder, Worcester’s Niall Annett and Jersey’s Wesley White. As well as these seven new faces, the likes of Jonathan Joseph, Will Muir, Beno Obano, Orlando Bailey and Max Ojomoh have all recently committed their futures to Bath.

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