England international Dave Attwood has completed his move from Gloucester to West Country rivals Bath for the start of the 2011/12 season on a two-year deal.
The lock, currently serving a nine-match ban, follows England’s Paul Doran-Jones in deciding his future lies away from Kingsholm.
Despite the ban, the 23-year-old is one of the best up and coming second-rows in European rugby and Martin Johnson recognised his talent capping the lock against New Zealand in the autumn.
With legendary second-row Danny Grewcock hanging up his boots at the end of the season, it is Attwood that Bath have turned to as their new enforcer.
“It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I kept on drawing up lists of pro’s and con’s for the different moves and the ripping up the lists and starting again.
“On one hand I am really sad to be leaving Gloucester. They are a great club but after speaking to Bath I decided they would be best for me.”
“I consulted various figures such as Nigel Redman and Alex Brown. I also spoke to some of the Bath lads like Lewis Moody, Lee Mears and Olly Barkley and it was them who swayed my decision.
“Bath has been a place I have always wanted to live and it was the best decision for me and where I am in life at the moment.
“I love Bristol, which is where I have lived in the past few years, but I decided that for my next contract I would live in the city where I am playing.
“It means that unlike before, I can take a taxi home after a team social, for example, rather than having to drive. It is the little things like that that really influence a decision such as this.”
Following the incident against La Rochelle, for which Attwood is near to completing his suspension and will be available again from 21st February, the lock is trying to make the most of his forced time off from the game.
“In regards to my suspension, it was a very unfortunate event.
“However, I am trying to make the most of my time off. I have had the opportunity to take a break from rugby for the first time really in 18 months.
“It has been great from a physical point of view just to let my body re-condition and relax a bit. However, despite the ban I have been to Pennyhill Park and to Portugal with the England squad and I am now itching to get back into the frame.”
Gloucester still has much to play for this season with an LV=Cup semi-final on the horizon and the team are nicely poised in the league with two games in hand.
Despite the move, Attwood is adamant he wants his last six months with Gloucester to be a success.
“There is still a lot to play for this season at Gloucester with our involvement in the LV= Cup and the Premiership.
“So hopefully while we are still in contention we can compete for those tournaments and guarantee ourselves a Heineken Cup spot ahead of next season.
“I have absolutely loved my time playing for Gloucester and of course I will give my all for the cherry and whites. Hopefully The Shed will have something to sing about come May.”