After fighting for game time in Edinburgh for 18 months, JAMIE BHATTI is going to English Premiership club Bath with immediate impact.
The attacking player joined Edinburgh from Glasgow Warriors in the summer of 2019, but has played only 15 games – and made only four starts – for the club, with Rory Sutherland and Pierre Schoeman ahead of him in the pecking order.
Despite this, for the final autumn tests, he has been called up to the Scotland squad and sees the move as an opportunity to further his international career.
“We think this is a move that works for both parties,” said head coach Richard Cockerill of Edinburgh. “Jamie is an ambitious Scotland international and understandably wants more game time than we have been able to offer him here, given how well our props are playing. We wish him well for the rest of the season at the Rec.”
Before the end of the season, Bath signed the 27-year-old as a replacement for Lewis Boyce, who is currently recovering from a knee injury.
“Jamie is a high caliber player with international experience,” said Rugby Director Stuart Hooper of Bath. He’s a good match for our club, and I’m sure he’s going to be battling for a chance to wear a jersey of blue, black and white.
He brings to his game a certain toughness that will only help our team for the rest of the season. I am sure he will fit in well with our front row and very easily adjust to our style of play.
“We decided to bring in a player of Jamie’s quality to ensure our standards are high at the set-piece and I am confident he will add his quality to our attacking play. He comes into the Farleigh fold at an important time and was brought in as injury cover until the end of the season.”
Over the next six months, Bhatti is unlikely to be the only Edinburgh player to leave for new shores.
Among the leading players whose contracts expire in the summer are Duhan van der Merwe (who has already been linked with a move to Worcester), Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Viliame Mata.
Cockerill maintains that he wants to retain as many of his best stars as possible, but as Scottish rugby changes its horizons to the financial limitations Covid brings, finding the resources to do so will be a real challenge.