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Premiership Rugby

Sampson joins Bath on three week loan

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Bath approached Wasps after a string of injuries and World Cup absences left them short of cover in the backs and the London side agreed, seeing the loan period as a good opportunity for Sampson to get some much-needed match practice.

Sampson – who has won three England caps and is regarded at one of the fastest players in the Zurich Premiership  – has spent the last 11 months recovering from a knee injury sustained whilst on England Sevens duty in Dubai.

"This is great opportunity for everyone involved," said Wasps boss Warren Gatland.

"Paul is fit and ready to make his return but needs game time, something we were hoping to give him in our midweek fixtures.

"Unfortunately we have none for the next three weeks, and therefore this gives us an ideal opportunity for Paul to get match fit.

"It's only for a short period, but will be beneficial to everyone".

Bath Rugby currently have twelve backs unavailable – Mike Catt, Iain Balshaw, Mike Tindall, Kevin Maggs and Simon Danielli all away on World Cup duty, and Brendon Daniel, Alex Crockett, Jamie Williams, Lee Best, Spencer Davey, Tim Brasher and Chris Malone are all currently sidelined due to injury.

"Paul is an experienced player and has a proven Zurich Premiership record, as well as his international caps," said Bath coach Jack Rowell.

"He is a very quick young man with an eye for the line, but his ability to play either in the centre, on the wing or at full back will be a big boost to Bath."

"Given the numbers that we have absent, our inability to be able to field a settled back line, and the high standard of the Zurich Premiership, we felt that it would be too early to elevate our talented young Academy players to the side.

"Therefore it was important to look outside of the squad to bring in specialist winger with Zurich Premiership experience into the squad."

Bath edged out Wasps by 19-20 when they met on October 5, but Sampson will surely have a few ideas about how to crack open the league leaders by the time the sides meet again on February 7.

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