Nathan Hughes: England back-row leaving Bristol and ‘going to Japan’

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Bristol Bears’ Nathan Hughes revealed that he will be playing his rugby outside of Europe next season, announcing a move to Japan.

This news came in an interview with PRTV after a tough 42-19 loss away to Sale Sharks on the final day of the 2021/22 Premiership’s regular season.

Although the former England number eight didn’t reveal which club he would be signing for, the announcement of Japan as his destination has dispelled all rumours of a switch to Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne.

End of the road in England

“I’m going to Japan,” said Hughes.

“(It is) closer to home, closer to the kids and I feel my time in the Premiership has come to an end. It’s been huge progress in my career, coming from New Zealand to where I am now. At 31, hopefully I can get a few games under my belt.”

Hughes is a true Premiership veteran, having played over 100 times for Wasps before he joined Bristol in 2019 for three seasons which involved a short but fruitful loan period with Bath.

“It’s been a pleasure playing in the Premiership, one of the toughest competitions in the world,” he added. “I’ve had nine years of playing in the Premiership and every game has been a tough one, especially here at the AJ Bell – always a hard place to play.

“But I’ve loved every moment in my Wasps career and here (Bristol). Signing off with two tries, I’m gutted we didn’t get the win but it’s been a pleasure.”

READ MORE: Departing Sprinkbok says ‘I think Sale put me on the map’

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