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Bath agree deal to sign centre Robbie Fruean

Fruean playing for Canterbury Crusaders in 2012. Credit: PA

Centre Robbie Fruean has completed a deal to join Bath, reuniting with his former Canterbury Crusaders coaches Todd Blackadder and Tabai Matson.

The 28-year-old will move to the Aviva Premiership after his Mitre 10 Cup commitments with Hawke's Bay, with the competition culminating in late October.

The 2007 IRB world under-19 player of the year excelled in New Zealand's junior ranks, but was then blighted by both illness and injury.

Fruean rebuilt his career making more than 60 appearances for the Crusaders under Blackadder and Matson's tutelage, and now the trio will link back up again at the Recreation Ground.

"We are really excited that Robbie has agreed to join us here at Bath," said Bath rugby director Blackadder.

"Tabai (Matson, Bath head coach) and I know him very well from his time at the Crusaders, and he is the kind of player we know will fit right in with the squad we have here, both on and off the field."

The Mitre 10 Cup final will be held on October 28, suggesting the latest Fruean could arrive at Bath would be early November.

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Joseph and Watson pen new Bath deals

Watson and Joseph are staying with Bath. Credit: PA

England backs Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson have signed new contracts with Bath that will keep them at the Aviva Premiership club until 2019.

Both players, who were present throughout this year's Grand Slam triumph and the 3-0 series whitewash of Australia, left London Irish for the Recreation Ground in 2013.

"Jonathan and Anthony are exceptionally talented and since gaining greater international experience, they are having much more of a positive effect on the group - on and off the pitch," Bath first-team coach Toby Booth said.

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Bath suspend Faosiliva after pleading guilty to assault

Bath have suspended their Samoa international back-row forward Alafoti Faosiliva.

The Aviva Premiership club said in a statement that 30-year-old Faosiliva had appeared at Bath Magistrates' Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to assault.

Alafoti Faosiliva has been suspended by Bath. Credit: PA

"Bath Rugby can confirm that Alafoti Faosiliva appeared at Bath Magistrates' Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to assault, with sentencing due in early May," the club said.

"The club takes matters such as this very seriously.

"It does not condone behaviour of this sort, and can confirm that Faosiliva has been suspended pending conclusion of the judicial process.

"Bath Rugby will not be making any further comment until the conclusion of this process."

Faosiliva joined Bath in 2013. He has won 15 caps for Samoa, including makiing two appearances at last year's World Cup when he lined up against the United States and Scotland.

Bath have three Premiership games left this season, hosting Sale Sharks on Saturday before visiting Northampton and then concluding their campaign at home to Leicester on May 7.

Bath captain Hooper retires on medical advice

Bath have announced the retirement of their captain Stuart Hooper.

The 34-year-old lock has quit the game with immediate effect on medical advice after suffering a back injury earlier this season.

Hooper made 192 appearances for Bath after joining them from Leeds Carnegie in 2008. Credit: PA

Former England Saxons skipper Hooper made 192 appearances for Bath after joining them from Leeds Carnegie in 2008. His top-flight career began at Saracens.

"I have had an incredible career, and these last eight years with Bath are ones I will look back on with great fondness," Hooper told bathrugby.com.

"I am sad to have not been able to retire on my own terms. However, when the medical experts are telling you it's time, you have to listen to them.

"I have loved my time at Bath, made some lifelong friends and worked with some of the most talented people in the sport.

"I would like to thank all the players, coaches, staff and supporters who have helped make this such an enjoyable period of my life.

"I feel a huge amount of pride to have worn the Bath jersey and to have led this great club over the last five years. It has been an absolute honour."

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