Joe Simpson set for Cipriani reunion after inking fresh loan deal
Ex-England scrum-half Joe Simpson has secured his second loan deal of the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership season, the Gloucester half-back following up his month-long stay at Saracens with a three-month deal at Bath that will take him through to mid-January. Simpson was fleetingly in London as suspension cover but he has switched to Bath for a longer stay as injury cover and he now has the opportunity to revive his old Wasps and Gloucester partnership with Danny Cipriani.
A Bath statement read: “The 33-year-old arrives as injury cover for Ben Spencer and will compete for a starting berth alongside Ollie Fox, Max Green and Tom Carr-Smith. Simpson has been one of the most consistent performers in the Gallagher Premiership since graduating from the Wasps academy in 2008.
“He headed into the Wasps first-team, striking up an electric partnership with Danny Cipriani that culminated in the duo playing 53 games together across the latter’s two spells at the club. Featuring over 250 times for Wasps in 13 years, the one-capped England international signed for Gloucester in 2019 where he scored eleven tries in 29 matches ahead of a short-term deal with Saracens this season.”
Bath boss Stuart Hooper added: “We are delighted to bring in a player of Joe’s Premiership quality to our group. He adds great experience to our squad and will enhance competition for the nine shirt alongside Ollie, Max and Tom while Ben is injured.”
It was just a few weeks ago that Saracens boss Mark McCall lauded the impact that ‘model pro’ Simpson made during his short stay with the Londoners which happened because new signing Ivan van Zyl was suspended for a red card in a pre-season friendly at Ulster.
We are delighted to welcome @joesimpson9 to Bath Rugby on an initial three-month loan!
We can't wait to see you in ?????!
— Bath Rugby (@BathRugby) October 11, 2021
Simpson came off the bench in the opening night win over Bristol and having started in the bye round friendly win over Ealing, he was an unused replacement versus Leicester before van Zyl became available for selection again. “We are so fortunate to find someone as experienced as Joe to fill that short-term gap with Ivan getting a ban, so that was great,” enthused McCall when asked by RugbyPass for his verdict on Simpson, the scrum-half who won his one and only England cap as a sub at the 2011 World Cup.
“But also he has just fitted in brilliantly. He knew quite a few of our players. He had played with Billy (Vunipola) and Alex Lozowski when they were at Wasps together, but he has been brilliant. We played an A-team game against Ealing last Friday night and Joe played in that. He had a great influence on the younger players in that group so we have been really pleased with him.”
It was September 13, in the wake of the suspension handed down to new signing Ivan van Zyl, that the ex-England scrum-half was unveiled as a short-term Saracens player #Saracens #LEIvSAR
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 30, 2021
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