Bath confirm Chris Brooker loan from Bristol plus two extensions
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 28/02/17 2:37pm
Bath Rugby have confirmed the loan signing of old boy Chris Brooker from Bristol, while prop Shaun Knight and hooker Michael van Vuuren have both signed contract extensions.
Brooker has signed on at the Recreation Ground until the end of the season for a second spell at the club, having previously been on the books at Bath between 2006 and 2010.
The 30-year-old, who has also had spells at Harlequins and Worcester, rejoins Bath on a deal until the end of the season following a spate of front-row injuries that director of rugby Todd Blackadder has had to deal with.
"We're really pleased to have been able to bring someone who has as much experience as Chris in at this stage in the season," said Blackadder.
"We've lost Tom Dunn and Jack Walker in recent weeks to injury, so to have Chris in the squad will be a huge boost heading into a critical part in our season.
As well as the capture of Brooker, Bath have confirmed two contract extensions in the form of former Gloucester prop Knight until the end of the season and South African hooker van Vuuren until 2019.
Knight, 27, initially joined on loan from Newport Gwent Dragons but will now be at the Rec at least until the end of the season while 25-year-old Van Vuuren joined Bath in the summer from Leicester Tigers.
"It's been a busy month or so with contract renewals, but we're delighted to have secured a number of players in preparation for next season," Blackadder added.
"Shaun and Michael are another two players that we had identified as playing an important role at the club and I have no doubt they will offer a great deal to the squad during their time here."
Former England U20's prop Knight admitted he had little hesitation in prolonging his spell at The Rec.
"I'm really happy to have extended my stay at the club," said Knight. "It's been an extremely enjoyable six months and to be a part of a squad that has the potential of challenging for honours is really exciting."
Van Vuuren has enjoyed spells with Stade Francais as well as the Cheetahs in Super Rugby and represented South Africa's Under-20s.
"I've really enjoyed my time here so far, so when the opportunity came to stay at the club I did not hesitate," said Van Vuuren.
"The environment and culture that is being created at the club is a special one and I'm looking forward to being a part of the journey."