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Wilson quits Newcastle for Bath

David Wilson
Wilson made his debut for Newcastle during the 2003/04 season

Bath have signed Newcastle Falcons prop David Wilson on a two-year contract.

The highly-rated 24-year-old, who has struggled to displace Kiwi Carl Hayman, will leave at the end of the season.

"Bath are a great team with a very strong pack and I can't wait to be a part of it and I intend to give it my all," said tight-head Wilson.

Falcons boss Steve Bates told BBC Radio Newcastle that Wilson deserved his chance elsewhere: "He's got a great opportunity to play as first-choice."

Bath head coach Steve Meehan said: He's a fine young prop who I'm sure will react well in his new environment.

"He's strong in the set piece, has a great work ethic and is far more talented with the ball in hand than people realise."

Wilson's move south coincides with the departure of England prop Matt Stevens, who has been banned for two years after testing positive for cocaine.

The switch may also benefit Wilson's international career, after he has forged himself a place in his natural role at tight-head for the England Saxons.

However, with the Falcons he has been forced to play at loose-head, which has led Saxons coach Graham Rowntree to warn Wilson that his progress could be hindered and his chances of selection diminished.

Bates added: "We're not in a position to offer him that and it might do him good."

"From our point of view, it's part of professional sport and we accept his decision."

Meanwhile Bates has reassured supporters that there will not be an exodus of players from the club at the end of the season.

Several key names, including Geoff Parling and Phil Dowson, are yet to sign new deals but Bates remains confident that negotiations to retain them, and bring in new recruits, are going well.

"We're doing a lot of work on the squad for next season, and I think we're making good progress," said Bates.

"There are a number of guys who are committed to staying and we'll be able to announce some of those signings next week.

"We're working on strengthening our side from outside the club, so I'm pretty happy about the way it's going at the moment."

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