The expected exodus of Worcester players has continued with starbacks Ollie Lawrence and Fin Smith on long-term deals with other clubs.
England international Lawrence has signed at Bath after initially moving there on loan last week and making his debut in Saturday’s narrow defeat by Gloucester.
Fly-half Smith, meanwhile, has joined Northampton with immediate effect. The Saints have confirmed a “multi-year deal” for the England U20 player.
Worcester have been suspended from the Gallagher Premier League and will be relegated at the end of this season following the partial liquidation of Warriors last week, with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) claiming £6million in unpaid taxes.
Scotland international Duhan van der Merwe has returned to Edinburgh, Lock Joe Batley has returned to Bristol, while Lawrence, Ted Hill, Fergus Lee-Warner and Valery Morozov have been loaned to Bath.
Bath confirmed Australia forward Lee-Warner will remain at the recreation ground for the remainder of this season while talks with Hill and Morozov are ongoing.
Elsewhere, Worcester props man Rory Sutherland is expected to join Ulster and the confirmation of 20-year-old Smith’s move to the East Midlands follows Northampton’s recent announcement that Dan Biggar, the flying half of the Welsh and British and Irish Lions , they end up leaving this designation.
Lawrence, 23, has won seven caps and Bath rugby boss Johann van Graan said: “Ollie made a huge impression on me straight away.
“He gave us a good winning line on Saturday and also provided good defensive pressure. He has wonderful footwork, an excellent hand-off and a very good rugby IQ.
“I believe he will make a real difference to Bath Rugby for years to come.”
Smith became Worcester’s youngest Premiership player when he played against Bath in March 2021 as an 18-year-old.
Northampton rugby director Phil Dowson said: “Fin is definitely a player who has been on our radar for a long time and the coaching staff as a whole are huge admirers of his.
“He’s someone who always gets the ball on the line, makes good decisions from an offensive perspective, has a bit of flair when offloading and is incredibly brave and tough on defence.
Smith has made 10 England appearances at Under-20 level and said: “The recent uncertainty has obviously been incredibly difficult for everyone at Worcester and I will miss the players, coaches and fans there.
“The last few months have shown what a special club it is.
“Having grown up with Sixways, Warriors will always hold a special place in my heart, but I know this is the right step for me at this stage of my career and I look forward to hopefully making a huge impact in Northampton.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/bath-worcester-england-northampton-gallagher-premiership-b2199826.html Worcester players’ exodus continues as Ollie Lawrence and Fin Smith move on