Cokanasiga to join Bath on loan

Cokanasiga to join Bath on loan

Joe Cokanasiga is set to join Bath Rugby on loan for the 2018-19 Premiership campaign following Exiles' relegation to the Championship, according to ESPN.

The powerful and pacy winger, who stands close to 6ft 4ins and more than 110kg, signed a four-year contract with London Irish in October 2017, however the Irish coaching staff are willing to send their prized asset to the Rec in order to continue his development and to ensure that the squad does not dissipate any further.

The club will follow a similar approach to Newcastle Falcons, who loaned players to the Premiership while they tried to regain top-flight status, by allowing other squad players to leave on deals to mirror the one Cokanasiga will operate under at Bath.

London Irish finish off their season on Saturday against Bath, having already lost Alex Lewington & Tom Woolstencroft to Saracens and Ben Franks to Northampton, while Johnny Williams has agreed to join Newcastle.

Brian Facer, the Irish CEO told ESPN that budgets are in place for a two-year strategy. He explained:

"When Newcastle were relegated they did a very clever thing in loaning out some of their top players so that when they came back into the Premiership they had a good squad in place.

"We have to do that kind of thing and we are having those discussions with key players who have options in their contracts at the moment."

Identified as a short-term replacement for the Gloucester-bound Matt Banahan, the Fijian-born youngster has lined out on 15 occasions for London Irish in the Aviva Premiership this season, scoring four tries and providing three assists.

Credit: Chris M. Jones - ESPN

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