Fijian utility back Josh Matavesi is set to curtail his stint in the Greene King IPA Championship with Newcastle Falcons with a move to the Premiership with Bath.
Matavesi, 29, announced his retirement from Test rugby late last year following Fiji’s pool stage exit from 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and has been a key cog in Dean Richards’ Newcastle machine since signing from the Ospreys in 2017.
Bath boss Stuart Hooper is set to enlist Matavesi, eldest brother of Northampton Saints hooker Sam and Newcastle academy prospect Joel, ahead of an expected Six Nations absence and a reported Super Rugby switch.
Bath are currently without England and British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Joseph with a foot injury sustained in defeat to Gloucester earlier this month, and while he is expected to recover over the next week, he will likely be involved with England’s Six Nations campaign.
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Furthermore, South African newspaper Rapport are reporting that Jamie Roberts, another Lions centre, is set to leave the West Country imminently to join Super Rugby outfit the Stormers in Cape Town, South Africa.
While Bath welcomed the return of Kiwi centre Jackson Willison from injury during last weekend’s home European loss to Harlequins, Matavesi is set to bolster the West Country club’s midfield, cushioning the potential loss of Roberts to Super Rugby and Joseph’s expected England call-up.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 15, 2020
It is not entirely clear whether the 24-cap international will join Bath on a loan deal lasting until the end of the season or on a more permanent basis, although RugbyPass understands it’s the latter. All the same, the powerful Cornish-born playmaker, who also covers fly-half, would be a welcome addition to Bath’s Premiership run, having struggled to secure a consistent run of form so far this season.
Newcastle Falcons, meanwhile, currently sit atop the Championship table after eight rounds of action and are expected to make an immediate return to English rugby’s top flight after succumbing to relegation last season.
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