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Hooper to captain Bath

Bath have confirmed that lock Stuart Hooper will captain the club during the forthcoming season.

The 29-year-old moved to The Rec from Leeds three years ago and has made a huge impression with his effective line-out work and mobility around the field. He takes over the role from Luke Watson, with the former South Africa back-rower having decided to return to his homeland.

"It was a huge honour to be asked to be captain, and I didn't hesitate in accepting," Hooper said. " I am very excited for the coming season, and with the squad we have here everything is pointing towards a successful future for Bath Rugby."

He added: "We know that there is a lot of hard work to be done first though, and I am looking forward to getting on with training hard, fighting for my place in a very competitive squad, and leading the boys into the new season."

Director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan said: "Hoops is a natural leader, both on and off the field.

"He has very strong leadership qualities, which have been and will continue to be a huge asset to the club.

"He is a very strong communicator, a hugely dedicated professional and, most importantly, has the total respect of all the players."

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