RUGBY: Bath 'target' Thomas will leave Sale

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Henry Thomas Henry Thomas

SALE Sharks rugby director Steve Diamond has confirmed that forwards Henry Thomas, who has been linked with a move to Bath, and James Gaskell will leave the Aviva Premiership club at the end of this season.

Prop Thomas, who was recently named in England's RBS 6 Nations squad, is widely expected to join the Rec side.

Back-row forward and former England Saxons captain Gaskell, meanwhile, has been linked with a move to Wasps.

"'Jamma' and Henry are moving on at the end of the season and replacements are being sought as we speak," Diamond told the Manchester Evening News.

"We're confident that we will replace the lads and we wish them all the best. It's the nature of the beast that while some players want to stay, others wish to move on.

"With both Henry and 'Jamma' it's not a money issue as to why they are moving on - it is purely for rugby/lifestyle reasons.

"There is no rancour or bad feeling, and we'll wish both of the lads good luck when they do move on."

Bath will lost Samoa prop Anthony Perenise to Greene King IPA Championship side Bristol at the end of the season and, referring to Thomas last week, coach Toby Booth said: "He’s a good player and we’re in a situation where we’re trying to finalise a few recruits.

“He’s a name that has been mentioned as a few others have but the quality of the squad is paramount for us.

“The reason we are where we are is because of the quality of individuals that we’ve got and depth of individuals we’ve got and it’s one of these that you have got to replace with similar quality.’’

MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND NEWS FROM BATH V BORDEAUX-BEGLES AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT ON THURSDAY

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