Sale Sharks have moved to further strengthen their squad for next season by securing the signing of lock/backrow James Phillips from Bath Rugby.

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James has penned a two-year contract with the Sharks and will join the club in the summer ahead of the start of the 2018/19 Premiership campaign.

James joined Bath Rugby for the start of the 2017-18 campaign after making nearly 100 appearances for Bristol, scoring 16 tries.

Having made his professional debut for Bristol against the Sharks back in 2007, James has subsequently amassed a wealth of experience.

He went on to make more than 100 appearances during two separate spells with Bristol, and the 30-year-old also spent four years in the Premiership with Exeter Chiefs for whom he played almost 50 times and also had a spell with Championship side London Scottish.

After helping Bristol gain promotion back to the Premiership in 2016 during his second spell with the West Country club, James then made the short move to Bath in the summer of 2017 and has gone on to make 20 appearances for the club.

A strong ball carrier, the 6ft 3in, 19 stone former England Under-16s and 18s star can play across both the second and back row and his signing is another big boost for Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond.

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Looking ahead to his move, James said: “I am delighted to be joining Sale and looking forward to the new challenge.

“I feel I am still developing as a player and ambitious for success, and Steve’s vision for the club was a big draw.

“I would like to thank Todd Blackadder and all the Bath players, coaches and supporters, and assure my commitment to the cause for the remainder of the season.”

Commenting on the signing, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: “I’ve met James a couple of times and been really impressed with him. He’s very down-to-earth and I think he’ll help fill the place that we lost when Jonathan Mills left.

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“We need a little bit of ballast for the winter months and James is a huge man who has done a great job for Bath.

“James served his apprenticeship at Exeter and London Scottish and he’s thoroughly good lad.

“He is not flashy and he is someone we can attempt to build our mauls around. James is a good ball carrier and a real engine-room player and we are delighted to have him on board.

“He’s a real athletic workhorse and everyone is looking forward to James joining us.”

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder commented: “James has made a valuable contribution to the squad this season and has bolstered our options in the second row and back row with a number of players unavailable through injury or international commitments over the last six months,” said Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder.

“We’d like to thank him for efforts during his time here, and wish him and his young family the best of luck with his move to Sale Sharks.”

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