Zach Mercer will leave Bath at the end of the season to join Top 14 side Montpellier, becoming yet another player to trade British shores for rugby abroad

Zach Mercer, a Bath academy graduate, will join Montpellier for the 2021/22 season when his contract runs out. Having not been capped for England since 2018, the 23-year old has opted to grow away from the Test stage for a while, with the RFU not picking players who ply their trade abroad.

Mercer became a fan-favourite during his spell with Bath in their back-row. However, he has chosen to swap Bath for Montpellier to achieve a dream of playing in the Top 14.

“It has been a long-standing dream of mine to play in France. The game is physical and will suit my playing style,” Mercer said on Bath’s website. “I feel like I am able to offer the Top 14 something different and that is what I am looking forward to.

“I found it impossible to say no to the offer of a long-term contract with Montpellier and I’m very grateful to have had respectful and honest conversations every step of the way with Hoops (Stuart Hooper). There is a brilliant group of players and staff at Bath and I know they will go on to achieve great things together.”

Stuart Hooper commented: “Zach is an exceptional player and one who we feel very proud of at Bath.  We will never hold any players back from realising their dreams and on this occasion, we see a brilliant young man leave to do just this.”

Bath are currently struggling this Premiership campaign, as they lie tenth in the table. Montpellier are also struggling, sitting thirteenth in the Top 14 table. Despite this, Mercer is clearly relishing the prospect of joining the Montpellier in southern France, adding to a growing list players from Britain and Ireland playing abroad.

Home Nations players abroad

Alex Lozowski – Montpellier (loan from Saracens)

Pierce Phillips – Agen

Laurence Pearce – Agen

Noel Reid – Agen

Gabriel Ibitoye – Agen

Sam Nixon – Bayonne

Hayden Thompson-Stringer – Brive

Stan South- Brive

Stuart Olding – Brive

Wesley Douglas – Brive

Rory Jennings – Clermont

Eoghan Barrett – Pau

Donnacha Ryan – Racing

Finn Russell – Racing

Simon Zebo – Racing

Owen Williams – Red Hurricanes

Alex Goode – Green Rockets

Greig Laidlaw – Shining Arcs

Hadleigh Parks – Wild Knights

George Kruis – Wild Knights

Tom Savage – Suntory

Freddie Burns – Toyota Verblitz

Myles Edwards – Toshiba Brave Lupus

Sam Thomson – Toshiba Brave Lupus

Murray Douglas – Yamaha Jubilo

Chris Robshaw – San Diego Legion

Cronan Gleeson – San Diego Legion

Adam Ashe – LA Giltinis

Glenn Bryce – LA Giltinis

Mat Turner – Seattle Seawolves

Charlie Connolly – Houston SaberCats

Steven Longwell – Old Glory

Mungo Mason – Old Glory

Ben Foden – RUNY

Will Leonard – RUNY

James Rochford – RUNY

Evan Mintern – RUNY

Jason Higgins – RUNY

Conor Kindregen – New England Free Jacks

Ronan McCusker – New England Free Jacks

John Poland – New England Free Jacks

Harry Barlow – New England Free Jacks

Dougie Fife – New England Free Jacks

Oliver Jager – Crusaders

Finlay Christie – Blues

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