Bath Rugby confirm the signing of GB Rugby 7s winger

Bath Rugby have confirmed they have handed GB Rugby 7s international Austin Emens on a senior academy contract with the club ahead of the 2024/25 season after he graduates with a business degree from the University of Bath.

The speedy back has caught the eye of the Blue, Black and White coaches with his excellent performances for the University men’s 1 st XV in the national BUCS Super Rugby league. He has also enjoyed a breakthrough at international level having made his GB Rugby 7s debut in December.

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Emens said: “I’m really happy and proud to sign for Bath Rugby. I didn’t really expect this opportunity. I joined the University for the academic side of things, it was the best course for me, but I obviously also knew that rugby was a big part of life here and I knew the links to Bath Rugby were there too.

“The last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind – signing for Bath and playing for GB7s has all come at once – but it’s good fun and I’m really glad I have these opportunities. They are what I’ve wanted and worked for.”

Of adding Emens to his squad, Head of Rugby, Johann van Graan, said: “I am really happy to welcome Austin on our journey. I have seen some real talent in Austin’s play and I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops over the next number of years.”

Emens, who was playing 3 rd XV rugby two years ago, is the second University of Bath student during the BUCS Super Rugby era to earn a contract with Bath Rugby, following the signing of hooker Tom Doughty in 2018/19.

Aaron James, Head of Rugby at the University of Bath, said: “We are absolutely delighted for Austin, he has worked so hard for this opportunity and it is thoroughly deserved.

His self-drive, both on and off the pitch, skill development, game understanding and consistent performances through 7s and 15s has earned Austin his contract and it’s another proud moment to see such a good person get his just reward.

“Austin joins Tom, who we have developed through the BUCS Super Rugby programme to progress to professional contracts, and this is testament to the University of Bath and Bath Rugby Academy partnership. One of the goals of the University’s Performance Rugby Programme is to develop players who go onto professional rugby and our partners at Bath Rugby in particular.”

Emens played school rugby to a high level with Brighton College but was not part of a club Academy and joined the University’s rugby programme when he started a Business degree in September 2021.

He enjoyed his first taste of BUCS Super Rugby during the 2021-22 season but it wasn’t until the second half of the 2022-23 campaign that he became a regular, helping the University achieve a top-four finish and reach the cup semi-finals.

The winger was also a guest player in the Bath United team that played England U20 earlier this season, scoring a try in his first outing in a Bath Rugby badge.

Emens is the latest current University of Bath student to have committed themselves to Bath Rugby for the 2024-25 season, joining fellow Business student and England A international Max Ojomoh, recent Wales Six Nations debutant Archie Griffin and England U20 player Sam Harris.