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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Bath flanker Julian Salvi set to return to Australia

Julian Salvi
Salvi has made 22 appeatrances for Bath

Bath's Australian openside flanker Julian Salvi is to return to his native country to resume his career with former club CA Brumbies.

Salvi, 24, joined Bath in 2009 on a 12-month loan contract with an option of a second year.

Bath coach Steve Meehan said it was a "difficult decision" for Salvi, but the player believed his chances of playing for Australia would be stronger.

Bath have recently signed England flanker Lewis Moody from Leicester.

Salvi said playing for Bath had unquestionably made him a better player.

"Playing with Bath has been fantastic, it's been a great experience," he said. "As well as making me a better player, it has further developed my leadership and tactical skills.

Playing with Bath has been fantastic
Julian Salvi

"I know the Brumbies' programme back-to-front and that will help me to put myself in a strong position for Wallaby selection next year. Obviously from a player's perspective it will be different not having George [Smith] there. The chance to earn that '7' jersey is a very exciting opportunity."

Salvi's family, including his wife and son, still live in Canberra.

Brumbies head coach Andy Friend said Salvi would play a key role in the future of the club.

"It's never an easy task replacing a player like George Smith but this is a very good start," Friend said.

"We're all aware of what a quality player Jules is. He's pushed George for a number of years at the Brumbies, he's done his apprenticeship here, he's returning as one of the most respected players in the UK and next year will be his turn to really make his mark."

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see also
Meehan denies Bath exit for Salvi
10 Mar 10 |  Bath
Bath swoop to sign flanker Salvi
22 Jun 09 |  Bath

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