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Worcester Warriors continue recruitment from Bristol with Joe Batley signing

Bristol Bears lock Joe Batley

Worcester Warriors have signed lock Joe Batley from Bristol Bears for the 2020-21 Premiership season.

Batley spent the latter part of the current season on loan at Leicester Tigers after beginning it in the Championship where he impressed for Hartpury.

The 23-year-old will not be alone in making the trip up the M5 to Sixways this summer, with Bristol backroom trio Jonathan Thomas (forwards coach), Mark Irish (scrum coach), and Mike Hall (academy manager) already committed to Worcester.

“Obviously I know Jonathan Thomas and Mark Irish really well. I have enjoyed working with them over the last three years at Bristol so the chance to continue working with them was something that really excited me,” Batley said.

“I enjoy their coaching ethos and how they want the game to be played so it will be nice to keep that going as well as being in a new environment with a new bunch of boys.

“From the conversations I have had with Solly (Alan Solomons, director of rugby), he’s got a very good vision about what he wants the club to achieve and I want to be part of that.”

Batley joins Exeter Chiefs back row Matt Kvesic in having their moves confirmed this week, and is the third signing made after Wasps fly-half Billy Searle.

Solomons commented: “We are delighted to welcome Bats to Sixways. He is a big, athletic, young English lock, who has gained representative honours for England at age grade level.

“He has worked with both JT and Iro which will be of huge benefit as he seeks to make his mark at the club.

“He is also a first-class bloke who I look forward to working with.”

Warriors were 10th in the Premiership, but safe from any relegation fears as a result of Saracens’ demise, when the season was suspended in mid-March.

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