Bristol Bears’ new scrum-half Chris Cook has said that he is gutted not to be able to finish his final season at Bath. The 29-year-old’s move to Bath’s West Country rivals was announced in May amid the Gallagher Premiership’s suspension as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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With the season set to resume in August, Cook’s contract at the Rec will have expired, meaning he will be with his new club. It’s a situation a number of players find themselves in. 

In light of the circumstances, the ex-England sevens international took to Instagram to send a message to all of those involved with Bath, while sharing photos of his time with the club. He said: “As I will not get to pull on the Bath jersey one last time or get to say goodbye at the Rec, I wanted to give this message.

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“I’ve been incredibly lucky to represent my childhood club for the last eleven years. It really has been an honour. I’m gutted that I wasn’t able to finish my final season at Bath. The Rec is such a special place to me where I have made so many amazing memories. 

“To the supporters, thank you for always selling out the Rec no matter the weather or the result. You’ve made my time at the club all the more special and given me memories that will last a lifetime.

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As I will not get to pull on the Bath Jersey one last time or get to say goodbye at the Rec. I wanted to give this message. I’ve been incredibly lucky to represent my childhood club for the last 11 years. It really has been an honour. I’m gutted that I wasn’t able to finish my final season at Bath. The Rec is such a special place to me where I have made so many amazing memories. It would have been incredible to have run out with Florence for the first and last time but it was not to be. To the supporters thank you for always selling out the Rec no matter the weather or the result. You’ve made my time at the club all the more special and given me memories that will last a lifetime. I feel privileged to have played with so many extremely talent payers and benefitted from the experience of some great coaches. Ive also been fortunate to have been looked after by some of the best medical, chefs and support teams in the game. A special mention to the two people who hold the club together but whose names you won’t see on the team sheet @sjbennett10 and Helen Shand. I’m extremely excited to be joining all the team at Bristol Bears ?

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“I feel privileged to have played with so many extremely talented players and benefitted from the experience of some great coaches. I’ve also been fortunate to have been looked after by some of the best medical, chefs and support teams in the game.”

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Given the way the season has panned out, Cook’s last game turned out to be a heavy 57-20 loss to Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in March which was a dismal end for a player who played 132 games for Bath. 

Cook was ever reliable during his time there and was rewarded with a call up to England’s sevens squad for the Paris leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in 2019. He leaves Bath in sixth place in the Premiership, five points from a playoff place.   

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