Bath name lock Stuart Hooper as captain

Bath have named lock Stuart Hooper as their new captain for next season.

The 29-year-old former Leeds skipper takes over the role from Luke Watson, who has returned to play in his native South Africa.

"I'm really chuffed and I'm excited about the future," Hooper told BBC Points West.

"I said yes straight away as it doesn't change what I do and to be named captain for this era going forward is a massive honour."

Hooper, who started his career at Saracens, arrived at the Rec from Leeds in 2008 and has since played 87 games.

He said his Premiership experience will aid him in his new role: "The art of good leadership is to take bits from different places and build it up into your own style.

"I've played in the Premiership now for 12 years so I've played with a lot of different captains and I've captained on a lot of occasions myself.

"I first captained when I was 18 years old for Saracens in the European Cup and then in my time at Leeds, it was a different sort of pressure to what we are under here, but it was pressure all the same.

"I want to bring all that together and bring in how we do things at Bath."

Hooper is already looking to the new season's campaign and is determined to improve on last year's fifth-place finish.

"We want to bring a real stubbornness to this Bath side so it's difficult to beat us," he continued.

"There's huge expectations on the players to step up. I'm a massive believer in learning from history and Bath are a stubborn side to beat at the Rec, a side that isn't satisfied with anything unless they're winning games.

"I want to connect with the players and find out what makes that Bath jersey special and make it special again by winning championships."

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