Bath have announced the signing of Western Province captain Luke Watson and Australian Julian Salvi from the ACT Brumbies.
Back-row forward Watson, who has won ten caps for South Africa, will move to England after this year’s Currie Cup competition.
He has agreed a two-year deal with Bath, who confirmed their swoop for him the day after he led Western Province against the British and Irish Lions at Newlands.
“Playing in the Cape for Western Province and the Stormers has been, and remains, a privilege,” said Watson.
“We still have some unfinished business in this year’s Currie Cup, and I will be giving my all to ensure a successful season for the team and the Newlands faithful.
“Joining Bath represents a new beginning and an opportunity to grow and experience the game in the top echelons of northern hemisphere rugby.”
The capture of 25-year-old Watson (Who wears Nike Air Legend 2 Rugby boots) is a welcome coup for Bath.
They have commanded headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent months after the departure of players like Matt Stevens, Michael Lipman and Alex Crockett, and Watson represents a quality addition to their squad.
“Luke Watson is a very talented rugby player and an experienced leader who is yet to reach his peak,” said Bath Head Coach Steve Meehan.
“We are very happy to have him arriving at Bath, even though we may have to wait until November.
“We are certain he will have a huge impact.
“Our discussions have been very straightforward, and neither of us is in any doubt of the way Bath play their rugby and the responsibilities he will inherit.”
Julian Salvi the highly rated versatile backrow forward has signed a one-year contract.
The highly-rated 23-year-old has the option to extend his stay for a further twelve months and takes the place of Michael Lipman at the Rec.
Salvi who has so far has struggled to displace the Great Australian Openside forward George Smith in the Brumbies team feels some time away may develp him as a player so he can return in the future to Australia and earn a Wallabies shirt.
“I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my rugby career and where better than in England and with Bath Rugby,” said Salvi.
“It is a strong club with a proud history, doing exciting things and I really want to become a part of that.”
Meanwhile, Head Coach Steve Meehan is very confident the back-rower can make a big impact in the Guinness Premiership and highlighted his versatility as one strength.
“At only 23, Julian arrives with considerable leadership experience,” said Meehan.
“He is very professional in his approach and he will arrive very fit. Once he knows, plays and calls his style of play, it will make it very easy for him to slip into Bath Rugby.
“I am looking forward to watching Julian play alongside his new team-mates and in front of his new supporters at the Rec. I am sure he will help the team to continue in its development and desire to win trophies.”