George Ford of LeicesterIn one of the less surprising announcements of the Premiership rugby season Bath have finally confirmed the capture of England Saxons and Leicester Tigers star George Ford.

Ford represents a significant coup for Gary Gold at Bath with Leicester believed to have been keen to retain the services of the fly-half. In addition to this Bath were able to confirm the capture of Ford’s team mate Micky Young alongside Northampton Saints Martin Roberts, both of whom play scrum half.

It was an interesting time for Bath to release the news of such a significant capture as it coincided with the announcement of the Lions squad today which dominated the rugby press.

“Micky and Martin are both very strong, capable players with good core skills and the ability to do things the opposition don’t expect,” said Gold. “They are still young, and we are looking forward to having them join the squad here and seeing them develop further. George is an exceptionally talented young player. He has already shown a tremendous range of skills, and we know he will only grow as a player and further develop those skills.”

The capture of Ford adds to an already impressive backline at Bath for next season as he joins the newly recruited Jonathan Joseph alongside existing players such as Kyle Eastmond, Tom Heathcote, Tom Biggs, Matt Banahan, Nick Abendanon and Horacio Agulla. On paper this looks like one of the most threatening set of offensive backs in the league, especially with the likelihood of Henson joining the team in the coming weeks.

The concern lies however in the potential for the players to bed in together. A number of new signings who haven’t played together before is always a risk, combined with a lack of experience in the midfield and therein lies a recipe for defensive frailties. There is also the concern that a number of these players will not always be first choice which could cause tensions within the squad.

I must admit as a Sale fan to being somewhat jealous of the firepower Gold is building down in Bath, especially if he gets all the players to gel. I can see several players becoming frustrated throughout the season though as the likes of Heathcote who has only just burst onto the scene could easily be put out by the arrival of Ford. Whatever happens though I’m looking forward to watching Bath next year.

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