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Bath fullback to join Lynagh at Benetton as impressive recruitment drive continues

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Feb 15, 2024

Benetton Rugby have continued their impressive recruitment drive today with news of a further addition to their squad. Continuing their trend of acquiring quality, yet potentially underrated, talent from the English Premiership, the Treviso-based side has signed Bath fullback, Matt Gallagher.

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The former Munster player arrived in the English west country in 2022 and has gone on to achieve 35 tries in his time with the squad. His time with Bath has been an impressive one, with the 27-year-old becoming a fan favourite in his short tenure.

His battle with Tom De Glanville for the 15 shirt has been an exciting one, but now it appears that he will instead join the likes of Paolo Odogwu and Louis Lynagh in the Italian side’s back three instead.

“I’ve loved my time at Bath Rugby,” said Gallagher in a statement.

“I’ve probably played the most rugby consecutively in these two years and I’ve loved every single moment of it. The boys have been fantastic ever since I walked through the door and Bath being a big rugby city and The Rec being right in the middle, it has been a really cool experience.”

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to the fans. They’ve only shown encouragement to me and the rest of the players through the tough times and the good. No matter what, whether it’s been in the pouring rain or in glorious sunshine, they’ve been absolutely fantastic to me and made me feel very welcome. These last two years, I will never forget them.

“The decision to leave Bath at the end of this season was a very tough one to make because I am really enjoying my time here, we’ve still got a long way to go. We’ve got a great core group of players and a world-class coaching set-up, from Johann (van Graan), to Lee (Blackett), to JP (Ferreira), and all the backroom staff.

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“Every bit of what we do here is aligned, so it was a really difficult decision to make but my grandparents live in the north of Italy so that was a big factor for me that I can see them a lot more. It’s also a big opportunity for me and my girlfriend to go and experience something different and we’re really excited.”

“That said, the season’s not done yet at Bath and we really, really want to push on hard and hopefully achieve some silverware at the end of it.”

BATH, ENGLAND – AUGUST 26: Matt Gallagher of Bath Rugby poses for a portrait during the squad photocall for the 2022-2023 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season at Farleigh House on August 26, 2022 in Bath, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Bath boss, Johann van Graan added: “I wish Matt the very best. I signed Matt as a younger player at Munster and then at Bath as a seasoned back three player. He had a fantastic season last year with us and he has continued his excellent form into this season.

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“I want to thank Matt for his contribution to Bath Rugby. He is a true pro and more importantly, he is a brilliant team man and human being.”

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