Leicester sign George Ford from Bath
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 14/02/17 3:02pm
Leicester have announced the signing of England fly-half George Ford from Aviva Premiership rivals Bath for the 2017/18 season.
Ford's fellow fly-half Freddie Burns will move in the opposite direction to join his hometown club.
Ford made his professional debut for Leicester at the age of 16, but left Welford Road in 2013 to join a Bath team coached by his father Mike.
Mike Ford left the club last year, and since then his son had been linked with a return to Leicester.
Burns, who has two England caps, joined Leicester from Gloucester in 2014, and has scored almost 500 points in 65 games for the Tigers.
Ford told Bath's official club website that he feels his decision is the right one at this stage of his career.
"This hasn't been an easy decision for me to make, but I feel it is the best one for me at this time," Ford said.
"I have really enjoyed my time at Bath and have worked with some incredible players and coaches. I know I have developed hugely as a player because of that."
Tigers head coach Aaron Mauger said: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to confirm the signing of George Ford, a player we obviously know well from his time here in the academy and as a young man making the breakthrough into senior rugby.
"He has become one of the leading players in his position in Europe and is still a young man with a lot of rugby ahead him. We look forward to his return to Welford Road in the summer.
"While delighted to be able to bring in George, we are disappointed to lose Freddie who has been an outstanding player for us in the last three years.
"Freddie has bought totally into the Tigers ethos in his time here and he is a popular member of the squad with the players and supporters.
"Freddie has made a significant contribution on and off the field here and we look forward to him continuing to play a prominent role with us in the remainder of the season while wishing him well when he moves to Bath in the summer."