After something of an indifferent season in newly appointed Director of Rugby Gary Gold’s first season in charge, Bath Rugby have recruited strongly over the summer and look set to once again mix it up with the top teams in the Aviva Premiership this season. The addition of players like George Ford, Gavin Henson, Matt Garvey and Jonathan Joseph to a squad already packed to the rafters with talent is sure to see an improvement on last seasons 7th placed finish.
Gold’s recruitment drive has not been solely focussed on star names however, with a number of exciting young players joining the Bath Rugby ranks who will bolster the clubs existing academy products and provide excellent strength in depth for the season ahead. Here we take a look at 5 of those youngsters who could be set to make a name for themselves this summer…
The young back rower signed from London Irish has a huge frame on him at just 20 years of age. The giant loose forward faces a tough task to break into the Bath match day squad but if his performances for England U20s at this years World Championships is anything to go by he could be a fantastic signing for Gary Gold.
Another member of the England U20 World Championship winning team that has joined from London Irish, young Anthony Watson looks to have a bright future for club and country. Although he also faces tough competition to break into the Bath first team his size, pace and power could be a key asset outside some of the more established centres at Bath Rugby.
Although Will Spencer has been officially confirmed as a member of the Bath Rugby academy for the season ahead, he could very well find himself thrust into the first team once again if any regular starters pick up a knock. A number of strong performances at the end of last season are an encouraging sign for the hard hitting Spencer’s future.
An exciting young fly-half who is also equally adept at covering full-back, Devoto may find his first team opportunities limited by the arrival of George Ford from Leicester, however, should he maintain the levels of performance we saw from him in the U20s World Championship he could well become a mainstay of the Bath team for years to come. At 6’4″ and 15st 6lb he provides a solid alternative to the lightweight Heathcote or Ford.
Another player to have been confirmed for the Bath academy this season, young hooker Tom Dunn looks set to take over from Ross Batty as the clubs third choice hooker and with Webber and Guinazu potentially away for periods of the season he could very well find himself a regular in or around the first team this season.
Who do you think is going to be the most important youngster for Bath Rugby this season?