Bath's Olly Barkley is to join French club Racing Metro at the end of the month.
The 30-year-old has made over 200 appearances for the club, and has 23 England caps. Apart from a season at Gloucester, Barkley has spent his entire career at The Rec.
The fly-half will be available for Bath's next two games against London Irish this weekend and Sale on September 29th before moving to the Paris club.
Barkley told Bath's official website:
– Olly Barkley
Bath Rugby is in my heart and it always will be. When I no longer play the game, this will be the Club I come to watch. I will be forever a Bath boy but this, for me, was simply the opportunity of a lifetime and one I just couldn't ignore.
I will miss the Club always, and I wish all of my mates here the very best. I believe they are a special group with special coaches, and I hope they achieve everything they desire.
I'd like to thank the Club for their understanding, and also the Bath supporters who have been amazing to me in my time here."
Head Coach Gary Gold added:
– Gary Gold, Head Coach, Bath
I could not have been more impressed with both his attitude and his incredibly professional approach since I arrived at the Club.
As a senior player, he could not have worked harder or been more welcoming to us as a group of coaches, but every now and then an offer lands on the table that a bloke just can't refuse.
We are sorry to see him go, but he goes with our blessing. He will always be welcome here."
- A PHOTO GALLERY OF OLLY BARKLEY'S CAREER IN THE WEST COUNTRY:
In other news, Bath have signed former Northampton hooker Brett Sharman on a short-term loan as injury cover for Rob Webber.