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Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Winger Matt Banahan signs new three year deal at Bath

Matt Banahan
Banahan has scored 24 tries in 62 appearances for Bath

England wing Matt Banahan, 23, has signed a new three-year contract with Guinness Premiership club Bath.

Prop David Barnes and hooker Pieter Dixon have also signed new deals to stay on at the Rec.

Barnes, 33, will remain for a further 12 months while Dixon, 32, has committed for another two years.

Banahan told the club's website: "Bath have put a lot of time into me. I want to return the favour and support the club that helped me get where I am."

Banahan joined Bath in 2006 from London Irish as a lock forward but was converted into a winger and has scored 24 tries in 62 appearances.

We might be experiencing a low point at the moment, but we all have complete faith that we are on the up and I am excited to be a part of that.

Bath hooker Pieter Dixon

He made his England debut in the summer against Argentina and played in all of the autumn internationals, scoring England's only try.

"I am not looking for a quick fix and what I want to do is be part of the team that is working for the future," said Banahan.

"We are putting in every effort to get back in contention for a high position in the Guinness Premiership and the Heineken Cup and then to maintain it."

Barnes, who joined Bath from Harlequins in 2000 and has made 235 appearances for the club, is pleased with his new deal.

"I am extremely happy to have extended my playing contract with Bath for a least one more season," he said.

"I am genuinely excited about the future of Bath Rugby, both on and off the field, and look forward to working hard to help bring success back to the Rec and to reward all the Bath supporters who have remained so loyal to the club."

Zimbabwean-born Dixon arrived at the Recreation Ground in 2005 from South African side the Stormers and has proved to be good competition for England hooker Lee Mears.

"It was not a hard decision to stay at Bath," he said.

"We might be experiencing a low point at the moment, but we all have complete faith that we are on the up and I am excited to be a part of that."

All three signings are a major boost for Steve Meehan's side who have had a poor season to date.

They have won only once in the Premiership, lying second-bottom in the table, and are all but out of the Heineken Cup having lost three of their opening four pool matches.



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