Hooper heading to Bath
February 25, 2008
Bath Rugbyhave announced that Leeds Captain, Stuart Hooper will be coming to The Rec at the end of the season on a three year contract.
Rated as one of the best up and coming second rows in the country, Stuart, "Hoops", joined Leeds in June 2003 from Saracens, having already represented England at U21 level. Although Stuart was initially signed up as an 'up and coming' for Leeds, Stuart was quick to stamp his mark on the club, after an injury to Tom Palmer catapulted Hooper onto the centre stage, where by the 2005-06 season he became the obvious choice for captain.
"I am honoured to have the opportunity to join a club with the heritage of Bath," said Hooper today. "I have had five fantastic seasons at Leeds Carnegie and I am hoping to finish in the best possible manner.
Stuart became part of Leeds' history when he lined up the sides first ever Twickenham final and then collected his first winner's medal of his career when they lifted the Powergen Cup: "I have worked with some great players and coaches during my time at Headingley Carnegie," said Hooper. "I am sure the club will continue to grow in the coming years.
"However, I am originally from the South West and the opportunity to move closer to home was a factor in my decision. My wife and I are expecting the arrival of our first child very soon and this is an exciting time to start our new life down in Bath. I am extremely excited about challenging for a place in the team, but that is for next season and my focus, for now, will remain on helping Leeds Carnegie remain in the Guinness Premiership."
Head Coach, Steve Meehan, believes that this dedicated strength and commitment that he has displayed with Leeds will stand him in good stead at Bath: It will be good to have a player with the Premiership experience that he has - and I hope he will bring fresh set of ideas. He has been a leader for both his team and club and it will be good to welcome a west country boy back.
"He is the type of individual that I am confident will help Bath develop further. He has shown his character his strength of character through both good and bad at Leeds and we are looking forward to teaming up with him in the pre-season."