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Joe Batley and Joe Latta to join Bristol Rugby for 2017-18 season

Joe Latta

Gloucester second row duo Joe Latta and Joe Batley are set to arrive ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

24 year-old Latta – who is English qualified – is a former New Zealand U20s international, while 20 year-old Batley has represented England at U18 and U20 level.

Latta won the Super Rugby championship for the Highlanders in 2015, making five outings in his debut season in the competition.

Highly-rated Batley has made four appearances for Gloucester, having joined the Academy from Hartpury College.

“The arrival of these two players in the summer gives us fierce competition in the second row. We are building a squad of young, hungry players with quality in each position,” Tainton told bristolrugby.co.uk.

“They are dedicated young men with plenty of talent and drive to succeed – we are confident they will do well in the environment we are creating at Bristol Rugby.

“They are clearly ambitious players and excited about the project we are developing here – to be able attract young, talented individuals like these two shows the direction the Club is taking.”

Batley added: “I’m really excited about this move and a first senior contract, which is a big step for me in my career. I’ve been with Gloucester Academy for three years and learned a lot, but now I’m ready to push on and compete for a starting berth and Bristol is the ideal place to achieve that.

“I was really impressed when I spoke to Pat [Lam] about the environment he wants to create at Bristol and the opportunities that young players will get to impress. It’s a club that is going in the right direction and I feel very positive about coming.”

Latta said: “I had a long chat with Pat [Lam] about his vision for Bristol and how he wants to take the Club forward. He’s really building something there and I’m looking forward to being involved in that.

“Pat and his coaching team will instil a strong culture at Bristol and that’s exciting to be part of. For me personally, I am ambitious and I will be working hard to stake a claim for a first team place next season.”

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