Donald to leave Bath at end of season
April 1, 2013
Stephen Donald has endured a mixed time since joining Bath last season © Getty Images
Bath have confirmed World Cup winning fly-half Stephen Donald will leave the club at the end of the season.
The New Zealander will join Japanese side Mitsubishi Dynaboars, who counted former Wales wing Shane Williams and ex-England fly-half Dave Walder among their squad last season.
The 29-year-old arrived in Bath after kicking the winning penalty for the All Blacks in the World Cup final in November 2011. He has since made 31 appearances for the club, scoring more than 150 points.
Donald's departure will leave young fly-half Tom Heathcote competing with George Ford, who is set to move to the Rec from Leicester Tigers at the end of the season, for the No.10 role next season.
Donald said: "I've had a great time with Bath, but feel it is time for a new challenge in a new league. I'd like to thank everyone at the club and all the Bath supporters for all the support during my time here, and I'm really looking forward to doing all I can to help us end this season on a high."
Bath head coach Gary Gold added: "Steve is a good footballer and is a great character to have around. He has brought a lot of experience to the squad in the last couple of years, and we wish him all the best of luck in Japan next season."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson