Lipman agrees new Bath deal
December 17, 2008
England international Michael Lipman has extended his stay at The Rec © Getty Images
Bath Rugby have received a major boost ahead of their Premiership clash against Sale Sharks on Saturday with the news that captain Michael Lipman and promising prop Aaron Jarvis have committed their future to the club.
Lipman's three-year extension and Jarvis's commitment to another two years at the club comes as a massive endorsement for a team that is challenging for honours both in Europe and on the domestic stage.
For England flanker Lipman, who joined the club from local rivals Bristol in the summer of 2003, the decision to extend his stay at a club that he regards as "second home" was an easy one, and after winning the European Challenge Cup last year he is keen to sample more success playing alongside his friends.
"Bath Rugby is a great club to be a part of at the moment. The group of guys that we have here and the coaching staff are exceptional and we have been playing some great rugby over the past couple of seasons - I would certainly hate to play against us!
"Winning the European Challenge Cup last year gave us a taste of the success that we can achieve and I have no doubt that more will come. We have played consistently well in the Guinness Premiership over the past two seasons and the Heineken Cup has provided us with a great opportunity. If we can beat Newport Gwent Dragons and Toulouse we will qualify for the quarters. Anything can happen once you get to that stage," added Lipman.
Lipman, who was appointed 'on the field' captain at the beginning of the season, has proven to be an excellent leader this season and head coach Steve Meehan believes that the openside flanker has much more to offer the club.
"It is extremely pleasing that Michael will be showcasing his talent in Bath colours for at least the next three seasons. It is important that we build continuity and I am really pleased with the progression that he has shown, both as an exceptional flanker, but also a leader in his first season as captain at Bath.
"I want people to embrace the challenges that we face and Michael is one of those people who has the right attitude and mindset - the sort of person I want to see playing for Bath Rugby," added Meehan.
Regarded as a highly talented front row prospect, Jarvis has prospered under the tutelage of Meehan, forwards coach Mark Bakewell and Skills and Defence Coach Brad Davis, making 24 first team appearances to date. In securing his services for another two years the club now have considerable depth in quality front row players.
"I am really pleased to be remaining at Bath," said Jarvis. "I feel that Bath is a club where I can develop really well under the coaching staff and other players. I am excited about where Bath is going and I am happy to be a part of that."
Bakewell was delighted that the 22 year old has pledged his future to the club. "Aaron is a fine up and coming player, who has benefitted enormously from being in a squad alongside Matt Stevens, David Flatman, Duncan Bell and David Barnes. The healthy level of competition for places has enabled Aaron to learn from some of the best props in the country and he is certainly heading in the right direction to establishing himself as a genuine premiership level prop."
Chief Executive, Bob Calleja commented, "To have both of these excellent players renew their contracts now is something of an early Christmas present to Bath Rugby and the supporters."