Bath have today (Wednesday) confirmed the return of Kiwi utility back James Wilson on a short-term deal. The former Northampton Saints and Bedford Blues man will provide Bath with much-needed cover across the backline, arriving on his second short-term contract after leaving the club at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Speaking on the return of Wilson, Bath's director of rugby Todd Blackadder said: “James plays with intent and can cover a number of positions across the back line. He will add much-needed depth to our squad over the next six months. James arrives this week and I expect to see him train hard in order to make selection ahead of Sale. We are delighted to have him back.”
Wilson himself added: “To be back at Bath is absolutely brilliant – I cannot wait to put the jersey back on and get out there with the boys. I know how focused everyone at the Club is on challenging for a place in the top four and I am excited to be part of that.”
Wilson made 20 appearances in the Blue, Black and White last season, able to play anywhere in the backline, apart from scrum-half, in a pinch. With star names Jonathan Joseph (centre) and Anthony Watson (wing/fullback) still on the sidelines with injury, Wilson will provide much-needed security for the West Country outfit.
Dingwall handed first senior deal
Northampton Saints have handed promising young centre Fraser Dingwall his first senior contract, graduating from the Saints Academy system after impressing in the Premiership over the last two rounds.
The 19-year-old initially signed for the Club’s Senior Academy at the start of the 2017/18 season, having been on the books with Saints since 2012, and starred for England Under-20s in both the Six Nations and World Championships earlier this year.
Dingwall will now continue to represent the Club for at least two more seasons, and the starlet insists the choice to sign on again was not one he had to agonise over.
“This was definitely an easy decision for me to make,” he said. “I’ve grown up at the Club, having been here since I was 13, and it’s really good to know I’m here for at least another two years.
“Without doubt Northampton is the best place for me to grow as a player. I’m still young, but I’m learning so much from the coaches and trying to develop my game with the great players around me.
“I’m thrilled to have a good run of first-team games under my belt now and I’m really enjoying my time on the pitch at the moment.”
Dingwall rose through the ranks at the Club while also representing Bedford School, and was soon recognised at international level with both Scotland and England age group appearances.
Several strong showings for Saints’ under-18s in 2017 earned him a call-up to the Northampton Wanderers side in the Premiership Rugby A League, and he helped the side to back-to-back titles in the competition.
Saints’ director of rugby Chris Boyd said: “Fraser is a really talented footballer who has grasped his opportunities to play for Northampton with both hands so far this season.
“He’s part of a fantastic crop of exciting young players coming through our Academy, and has progressed an enormous amount in the short time I’ve been with Saints.
“Fraser is a popular member of the squad and, at 19 years old, his best is of course still to come – we’re really excited for him to reach his full potential here at Franklin’s Gardens.”