Bath sign England centre Joseph
March 20, 2013
Jonathan Joseph is widely tipped for a long international career © Getty Images
England and London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph will join Bath at the end of the season, the West Country club have confirmed.
Joseph, a member of England's elite player squad who won all four of his caps last year, will link up with former Exiles head coach Toby Booth at the Recreation Ground. The 21-year-old's departure is a blow to Irish, who were keen to retain one of the country's most promising young backs.
"I've loved my time with London Irish but feel it's time to make a move and Bath is an extremely exciting prospect," Joseph said. "You can see what the coaches are looking to build there in terms of culture, they already have a really talented squad and I hope I can add something to that.
"Obviously I'm still developing as a player and I feel that Bath will give me a fantastic environment in which to do that."
Joseph's departure continues the exodus of big name players from the Madejski Stadium with prop Alex Corbisiero also leaving at the end of the season, following in the footsteps of Delon and Steffon Armitage, Nick Kennedy, Paul Hodgson and Seilala Mapusua.
Bath head coach Gary Gold is delighted to have captured a player who would have been involved in the recent Six Nations but for injury.
"Jonathan is young, English and hugely talented. He is exactly the sort of player we want, and we are confident that he will indeed bring something special to the team," Gold said. "That he has chosen Bath as his club says a huge amount about the environment we are establishing here. We can't wait for him to join the club."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action