Bath secured their eighth summer arrival yesterday by signing the promising flanker Michael Lipman from Bristol. The 23-year-old, who played for England in a non-cap game against the Barbarians last month, was brought up in Australia and was in the New South Wales squad before opting for a move back to England.
Lipman will join seven other Recreation Ground recruits, following David Flatman, Duncan Bell, Martyn Wood, Andrew Higgins, Rob Fidler, Christian Balshen and Jonathan Pettemerides.
Leeds have confirmed the signing of the England Under-21 international Clive Stuart-Smith from Gloucester. The scrum-half has agreed a one-year contract. The Tykes have also announced that wing Chris Hall and scrum-half Derek Hegarty will not be retained. Hegarty made 20 appearances in all competitions last season, while Hall had a three-year spell with Leeds, scoring 29 tries from 60 games.
The France coach Bernard Laporte has turned to Gerald Merceron to solve his fly-half problem by calling him up to face New Zealand on Saturday after a last-minute flight across the world.
Merceron had barely left Paris when Laporte announced his team for Saturday's one-off test in Christchurch with Merceron among the replacements. He will join the team after a 24-hour journey and will only have 48 hours to recover from jet lag.
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