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Bath sign Webber,Heathcote and Palma-Newport


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Article Published: Wednesday 1 February 2012


London Wasps hooker Rob Webber has signed a three year contract with Aviva Premiership Rugby Club Bath who have also re-signed Tom Heathcote and Kane Palma-Newport.

Webber, who was recently selected for the England Elite Player Squad, will join the West Country club in the summer, moving from London Wasps.

The 25 year old, who started his professional career in the Leeds Carnegie Academy before moving to Wasps, is a talented all-round player, skilful at the set-piece, and extremely mobile and athletic in the loose.

He has represented England at all age group levels, from Under 16's to touring with the Saxons in 2010, and will be looking to gain his first full cap during this year's 6 Nations.

Speaking of the signing, Director of Rugby, Sir Ian McGeechan, said: "Rob is a very skilful and exciting player. He has a great work ethic and attitude, comes to us with an already impressive skill-set, and still has a lot more potential."

"We are looking forward to helping him develop his game further, and feel he will fit in very well here at Bath."

Rob added: "I have loved my time at Wasps, but it is time to move on, and I am genuinely excited at the prospect of working with the squad and coaches at Bath. "

"There seems to be a great ethos developing at the Club, both on and off the field, and it's one I'm looking forward to becoming part of."

Meanwhile Bath Rugby Academy prospects fly-half Tom Heathcote and tighthead prop Kane Palma-Newport have both pledged their immediate futures to the Club, signing three and two year contracts respectively.

Both players have been valuable members of the squad this season, putting in very impressive performances and showing great skill and maturity.

Tom, 19, made his debut this season against Gloucester, and has gone on to make 13 appearances, scoring 78 points so far. He has also been selected for the England U20's squad training towards this year's 6 Nations.

Kane, 21, has made six appearances so far, including scoring a try against London Wasps. He has recently been on loan with Championship side, Leeds Carnegie, helping them to some significant wins and gaining more experience in a very competitive league.

Commenting on the news, Director of Rugby, Sir Ian McGeechan, said: "We are delighted that Tom and Kane have both chosen to stay with the Club. "

"We've altered the way we operate the Academy this season, integrating the young players with the first team much earlier and by having them train with the senior squad fulltime this has had real benefits, both for the players themselves and the team.

"Both Tom and Kane are fantastic young talents, who have shown great maturity and ability already, and we are sure they will continue to do so as they develop and grow as players."

Tom added: "I'm very happy to be staying for another three years at Bath. It is a very exciting time for the Club, and I want to be involved in achieving the ambitions the Club has. I feel happy here, and with the coaches and players in place it is the best place for me to continue my development as a player."

Kane said: "Bath is the Club I love, and I'm really looking forward to the next few years. Being a Bath lad there is no other place I'd rather be, and with the amount of talent coming through at the moment, it's a testament to the coaches who got me here."

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