Jonker, Schoeman, Verden and Wright to leave Bath

Jonker, Schoeman, Verden and Wright to leave Bath

The club can confirm that Johannes Jonker, Juan Schoeman, Keiran Verden, and Max Wright will be leaving Bath Rugby at the end of this 2023/24 season.

Verden departs the Blue, Black and White, after eight years having risen through the Beechen Cliff pathway into the club’s Senior Academy and then the First Team.

The prop’s Premiership debut came during the 2019/20 season against Worcester Warriors, and he has since gone on to make 16 appearances in the famous jersey.

With 40 caps to his name earned over a seven-year period at Bath, Wright joined the club in October 2017 having graduated from the Yorkshire Carnegie setup before going on to make his league debut against Northampton Saints.

The centre made his first European start in the same campaign and played a key role in helping England Under-20s win the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2017.

The South African front row pairing of Schoeman and Jonker joined Bath in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Schoeman arrived from Durban-based outfit The Sharks having also played for the Blue Bulls, making his first Premiership appearance for Bath against Worcester Warriors. He is currently standing at 62 appearances for the club, most recently coming off the bench during the Round 18 win against Northampton Saints.

Former Border Bulldogs, Lions, and Montpellier prop Jonker signed from Ealing Trailfinders and debuted on the opening day of the 2021/22 Premiership season against Sale Sharks, the same game in which Schoeman scored his first Bath Rugby try. Jonker has gone on to represent the club 27 times.

Reflecting on his time at the club, Verden, whose Bath Rugby player legacy number is #2887 said: “I just want to say a massive thank you to the fans, staff, and all the players at Bath Rugby. I’ve absolutely loved my time at the club and having the opportunity to represent this city. To all the players I’ve played with, it’s been a pleasure and I’ll miss every one of you. Bath will always hold a special place in my heart. Plenty of work left to be done to finish where we want to and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Wright, holding player legacy number #2859, looked back on his time playing centre for the club with fondness. He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to call Bath my home for the last seven years. I’ve had some amazing memories and made some lifelong friends. I’ll remain a Bath fan for life.”

With player legacy number #2886, Schoeman spoke of his affinity for those who have helped him on his journey at Bath. He said: “I’m eternally grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to wear the Blue, Black and White jersey and everyone and everything it resembles in the highs and lows with the support of family and friends, coaches who believed in me and helped me grow as a human being and as a rugby player. Also for the management and staff who helped me return to, and maintain form on, the rugby pitch, and for the unwavering support of the fans.”

Jonker, whose Bath Rugby player legacy number is #2898, paid tribute to the club and those closest to him. He said: “As I say goodbye to Bath Rugby, I want to express my gratitude to everyone involved. Playing alongside such talented teammates and having the support of our amazing supporters has been a true honour. Thank you to all the coaches and staff that have helped me along the way. Special thanks to my wife, Kirsty, for her unwavering support and love throughout this journey. These experiences have made me a stronger and better person. Thank you for everything. Bath Rugby will always hold a special place in my heart. I wish the club well for the future.”

Head of Rugby Johann van Graan highlighted the contributions all four players have made during their time spent with the Blue, Black and White.

“All four of these gentlemen have very unique personalities and will be missed around the group. They were very good team men, and we wish them all the very best in the next steps of their journey.”

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