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RUGBY: Bath snap up front row duo
8:24am Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Sport
BATH have signed promising young props Henry Thomas and Nick Auterac for next season, it was confirmed this morning.
The move for Thomas was widely expected, following the recent announcement that the 22 year old would be leaving Sale Sharks at the end of the season.
Thomas was named in Stuart Lancaster's England squad for the RBS 6 Nations, having made his England debut in Argentina in 2013.
Thomas, who went to King Edward's School, in Bath, and Millfield, before moving to Manchester to study economics, made more than 50 Aviva Premiership appearances for the Sharks.
He said: "I'm really excited to be moving to Bath next season.
"They're a club clearly on the rise, with a lot of ambition. They also have a very strong pack, excellent coaches and a top squad, so I can't wait to get started there."
Loosehead prop Auterac, 21, is a former England U20s representative who joined the Saracens Academy in 2011.
A graduate of the Oaklands College rugby programme in St Albans, he made his Aviva Premiership debut for Saracens against London Wasps in November 2012, and has since gone on to be involved in over 15 first team matches.
Bath forwards coach Neal Hatley said: "Henry and Nick are exceptionally talented, and they have a lot of potential as young players to get even better.
"They are enthusiastic about learning and improving, which really fits the culture we're building here at Bath. We're very much looking forward to them joining the squad."
Bath's Anthony Watson will play for the England Saxons against Ireland Wolfhounds at Kingsholm on Saturday.
Watson, who can play at full-back or on the wing, was called up to Lancaster's senior squad for the Six Nations, which gets under way next weekend.
The uncapped 19-year-old is in contention to play for England in their opening RBS 6 Nations clash with France on Saturday week.
Stuart Lancaster wants to see Watson, more normally a full-back, gain more game time on the wing.
"We want to give Anthony some senior international experience and more game time on the wing," the England head coach said.
"The match against the Wolfhounds is a good opportunity for him.
"He's been great in training this week and to test himself against a quality Irish team will be another step up for him."
Bath's Jonathan Joseph and Semesa Rokoduguni both miss the game with injurybut Nathan Catt remains in the 23-man squad.
MORE ON THIS STORY AND MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS & REACTION IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES
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