sport

Bath star heading for France

Bath have confirmed that their England full-back Nick Abendanon will join French club Clermont Auvergne at the end of this season.

Abendanon, 27, will be released a year early from his contract at the Recreation Ground after he requested the move and Clermont agreed to pay a transfer fee.

Abendanon, who won two England caps in 2007, has made almost 200 first-team appearances for Bath.

"Nick has been a great player for Bath, and we thank him for all he's done over the years," Bath head coach Mike Ford said.

"He felt it was time to go and that Clermont represented an opportunity he couldn't turn down. I know Nick will remain totally committed to our cause this season."

And Abendanon added: "I have loved every minute I have played for Bath and want to thank the club for giving me the opportunities they have done.

"This has been an extremely hard decision for me, but I feel this is the right time to challenge myself in a new environment."