Bristol Bears outcast Nathan Hughes joins Bath on loan

Former England star and Bristol Bears outcast Nathan Hughes joins Bath on loan as club look to rescue torrid season having won just one game so far this season

  • Nathan Hughes joins Bath as he was deemed surplus to requirements at Bristol 
  • Hughes, who has won 22 Test caps for England, will bring experience and power 
  • Stuart Hooper’s Bath have won just once all season in the Gallagher Premiership
  • Fitz Harding emerges as a player of real potential at No.8 for Bristol Bears

Former England back-row Nathan Hughes has been parachuted in to try and improve Bath’s desperate season after being deemed surplus to requirements at Bristol. 

The No 8, who has 22 Test caps, has moved to The Rec on loan with immediate effect although Pat Lam’s Bears do have a call-back option on the short-term deal. 

Stuart Hooper’s Bath have won just once all season and their latest defeat saw them hammered 64-7 by Irish giants Leinster in the Heineken Champions Cup. 

Nathan Hughes (right) has been signed to improve Bath’s desperate season from Bristol Bears

Bath head coach Neal Hatley said: ‘We are delighted to secure Nathan’s services. He is a destructive ball carrier and provides critical cover throughout the international window. 

‘I have been fortunate enough to work with him at international level. His experience and attributes, both as a person and a player, mean we are all looking forward to seeing him perform and making an impact for the blue, black and whites.’ 

The giant Hughes brings raw power, but he has fallen out of favour with Bristol this season. 

Bears director of rugby Lam has seen the promising Fitz Harding emerge as a player of real potential at No 8. 

‘It’s important for Nate to get some regular, quality game time at this stage of the season to enable him to get back to his best rugby,’ Lam said. 

‘This is a great opportunity for him and one that suits all parties with our neighbours Bath short of back-row options at present. 

‘Although Nathan has missed out on selection in recent weeks, his attitude and commitment around the environment has been outstanding as he’s played his part in ensuring the team continues to grow and improve on and off the field. 

‘I will stay in close dialogue with him over the loan period as he could still play an important part in our season.’ 

Hughes will not be eligible to play against his parent club when Bath host Bristol in the Gallagher Premiership on March 5.

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