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Sam Underhill joins Bath

Flanker Sam Underhill will be eligible to represent England this summer after his move to Bath on a three-year deal was confirmed.

The former England U18s captain moved to Wales two summers ago to study at Cardiff University and, impressing with Bridgend Ravens, he was picked up by the Ospreys making 20 appearances to date.

The 20-year-old has been a player in considerable demand in recent month having stated his understandable desire to represent England and with RFU selection policy preventing him from being considered while being an Osprey.

He had a year left on his contract but the Ospreys have agreed to release him after Bath agreed to pay a fee of around £150,000.

Ospreys Managing Director Andrew Millward said: “Sam has been straight down the line about his international loyalties since day one and his performances in an Ospreys shirt last season clearly put him in the spotlight as far as England goes.

“He has certainly thrived in our environment, where the focus is on development, allowing him to show his undoubted potential to a wider audience.

“While totally understanding his wish to give himself with the best chance of pursuing his England ambitions, our priority has always been to ensure that, whatever the outcome, the best interests of Ospreys Rugby were front and centre at all times.

“We have been able to reach agreement on the final year of Sam’s contract and he will head to Bath in the summer with our best wishes.”

Underhill added: “I’m really excited to be moving to Bath. There is a brilliant environment at the Club, and some very talented players, both of which were a huge incentive in joining for me.

“They have a world-class coaching set-up, who I know will help me develop into the best player I can possibly be. I’ve enjoyed a really good couple of seasons at Ospreys, and would like to thank everyone who has helped make this move possible, and the fantastic support I’ve received throughout my time in South Wales.”

Bath boss Todd Blackadder commented: “We’re really looking forward to Sam joining us. We’ve got a really strong contingent of backrows in the squad, and Sam’s addition will boost that even further. He’s a very talented young player, and we can’t wait to see him develop even more over the coming seasons.”

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