TOP BAR - Fixtures

Bath Rugby’s Matt Banahan to join Gloucester Rugby

Bath Rugby’s Matt Banahan to join Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby have confirmed that experienced back Matt Banahan will switch West Country allegiances this summer, making the move from Bath Rugby.

The Jersey-born flyer operates mainly on the wing, but is able to play across the back three and in midfield, and has proved himself to be one of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s most potent attackers since making his debut at The Rec in 2006.

Banahan has racked up over 250 appearances to date for Bath Rugby. His form in the Blue, Black and White has seen him pick up 16 caps for England, featuring in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Standing at 6’7” and weighing over 110kg, Banahan combines pace, power and size, with quality skills in the air, and an eye for the try line, causing havoc for defences in a quality Bath backline in recent seasons, and will now continue his career at Kingsholm.

Commenting on the signing of one of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top try scorers, director of rugby David Humphreys is excited to add Banahan’s game to the Cherry and White backline.

“We are thrilled that Matt has decided to join Gloucester Rugby at the end of the season,” he said.

“Matt has had a wonderful career at Bath and he will bring a huge amount of quality and experience to the young, exciting squad we are building in Gloucester.

“His versatility and ability to play in a number of positions across the backline adds real depth to our squad and Matt’s quality will complement the style of rugby Johan Ackermann has brought to the Club this season.

“I know how tough a decision it was for Matt to leave Bath but we’re all looking forward to seeing him playing in Cherry and White next season.”

Having joined Bath in 2006 as a forward, Jersey-born Banahan was moved to the wing by former coach Brian Ashton. Named in the wider England Sevens squad in 2007, Banahan then represented England Saxons three times in 2008, before making his senior debut in 2009 against Argentina. He went on to earn 16 caps for England, including being selected for the 2011 World Cup squad.

Todd Blackadder, Bath’s director of rugby, added: “We’ll be really sad to see Matt leave at the end of the season, but we completely understand the decision he has made with his family and future in mind.

“I’d like to thank him for all his efforts over the years – he’s been a fantastic servant for Bath. Everyone at the Club wishes him well with the next chapter of his career and will welcome him back to the Rec when the time comes. I’ve no doubt he’ll remain as committed as ever as we work to achieve our aims for the rest of the season.

“We’re working hard to ensure we get the right balance in the squad, taking into account the various complexities of building the squad we want long-term, and we will make further announcements on recruitment when appropriate.”

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