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Ford returns to Tigers and Burns goes to Bath

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Leicester Tigers have completed the signing of George Ford from Bath Rugby for the start of the 2017/18 season in a move which will also see fly-half Freddie Burns travel in the opposite direction to join his hometown club.

Ford graduated from the Tigers academy to make his first-team debut as a 16-year-old in November 2009 and went on to make 41 first-team appearances and share in Anglo-Welsh Cup and Aviva Premiership title wins with the club before joining Bath in the summer of 2013.
He has since established himself at the core of a successful England squad, winning his 32nd cap in the Six Nations win over Wales last weekend, and has played a prominent part at club level with Bath including in their run to the European Challenge Cup Final in 2014 and Premiership Final a year later.
Ford, 23, will team up with England colleagues Ben Youngs and Dan Cole as well as squad members Ellis Genge and Mike Williams, on his return to Welford Road.
Burns, 26, joined Tigers from Gloucester in the summer of 2014 after starting two of England’s Tests in New Zealand that year. He passed the 1,000 points mark in Premiership rugby this season and has almost 500 points in 65 appearances for Tigers.
Tigers head coach Aaron Mauger said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to confirm the signing of George Ford, a player we obviously know well from his time here in the academy and as a young man making the breakthrough into senior rugby.
“He has become one of the leading players in his position in Europe and is still a young man with a lot of rugby ahead him. We look forward to his return to Welford Road in the summer.
“While delighted to be able to bring in George, we are disappointed to lose Freddie who has been an outstanding player for us in the last three years. Freddie has bought totally into the Tigers ethos in his time here and he is a popular member of the squad with the players and supporters.
“Freddie has made a significant contribution on and off the field here and we look forward to him continuing to play a prominent role with us in the remainder of the season while wishing him well when he moves to Bath in the summer.”