Nathan Hughes: Bath swoop for loan deal for Bristol Bears and England number eight

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Bristol and England international Nathan Hughes is on the move for the second time in a week after it was confirmed he has joined Bath on loan.

The Bears revealed that the switch was short-term and he’ll arrive at their struggling Premiership rivals with immediate effect to boost their squad.

Hughes will not be eligible to play for Bath against Bristol in the Premiership clash on March 5, and the Bears do have a call-back option, if required.

“It is 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,” Bristol director of rugby Pat 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 has 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.”

Former Wasps forward Hughes won the last of his 22 caps in 2019.

Rob Baxter hails ‘bang on form’ Exeter number eight

Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds deserves his chance in the upcoming Six Nations, according to his club boss Rob Baxter.

Simmonds was Exeter’s star yet again at the weekend, despite the Chiefs succumbing 37-26 to Montpellier in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

The back-row scored a hat-trick, taking his tally to a remarkable 75 tries in 100 games, and will hope he’s done enough to earn a role in the Red Rose squad.

Interestingly, his main rival for the England shirt, Alex Dombrandt, also touched down three times in Harlequins’ dramatic victory over Castres as competition hots up ahead of the annual international tournament.

Baxter revealed the Exeter game plan had been built around trying to get Simmonds over the line as often as possible.

“We spoke during the week about creating a game that would get Simmo over the try-line a few times. We were joking about him getting four or five and when he had three in 50 minutes we started thinking it might happen,” said Baxter.

The article Nathan Hughes: Bath swoop for loan deal for Bristol Bears and England number eight appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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