Ospreys prop Paul James has today confirmed that he has signed a two-year deal with Bath.
James, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on Sunday, has been released a year early from his contract to sign for the Aviva Premiership club.
Speaking about his move, the Skewen product said:
“I’m really sad to be moving on from my home region but excited about what will be a massive new challenge for me personally, and for my family. I’m leaving the Ospreys with so many excellent memories and I owe the region a massive thanks for helping me to achieve so much as part of a great set-up over the years.
“We’ve got a massive game on Friday night which I’m 100 per cent focussed on. It would be brilliant to be able to leave on a high with a fourth league title and that’s what we’ll all be working towards. This is my home, I’m an Ospreylian through and through, and I’d like to think that I’ll be able to come back home to the Ospreys again in the future.”
An Ospreys original, James has made 178 Ospreys appearances, more than any other player, scoring seven tries. He captained the region to victory over Australia in November 2006, played in three championship winning teams and featured in both EDF Energy Cup Finals against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham.
Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, added:
“Paul has been a wonderful servant to his home region since 2003 and we wish him all the best at Bath. In his time as an Osprey he has grown in stature to become a regular in the Welsh squad.
“We find ourselves particularly strong at loosehead, with the likes of fellow Wales internationals Ryan Bevington and Duncan Jones also available to us, and with some talented young props coming through below them. In the current climate, where we are looking to operate prudently and at a sustainable level, it makes no sense to carry three internationals in one position.
“As a true Ospreylian, Paul fully understands the position and as you would expect from someone of his character, he is determined to ensure that he signs off on a positive note in the coming weeks.”