Bath Rugby can confirm Josh Matavesi has left the club for a new challenge in Japan with Toyota Shokki Shuttles.
The Fiji international expressed an interest in exploring the opportunity for the betterment of his young family and the club has allowed for the early release of his contract.
An always smiling, infectiously positive character, Matavesi joined Bath in January 2020 has produced some dazzling moments in Blue, Black and White.
The 30-year-old debuted as a replacement in a 13-10 win over Leicester Tigers before making his full debut a week later in a narrow victory against Worcester Warriors.
In total, he made 27 appearances, scoring 28 points and everyone at Bath Rugby wishes him the very best for the future.
Providing clarity around Matavesi’s departure, Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper said: “The situation with Josh was very simple, he came to speak to me and he had been offered an opportunity to go elsewhere which was a very good one for him and his family at this time in his career.
“He was in a position where he desperately wanted to take the opportunity and that’s not him saying he didn’t like it here or we didn’t want him here, but sometimes there are bigger reasons for people leaving.
“I care for the guys very deeply and I obviously care for the club. The development of this squad, the capacity to compete has to come first and we have some fantastic players in that position in Max (Clark), Will (Butt) and Max (Ojomoh) who can play and excel.
“Josh goes with our blessing on to a fantastic opportunity for him and his family and we wish him all the best for the future.”
With regards to incomings at the Rec, Bath Rugby has the capacity to bring additional players into the squad for the 2021/22 season.
The recruitment process is vigorous, and the players must be the right fit for the club as Hooper explains.
“For a number of reasons, it is challenging at the moment; there are a number of things going on in the game that means it’s not as straightforward as it has been previously to go and sign players, particularly from abroad.
“We are working hard on it and there will be a couple of additions to this squad. They may not be here before the start of the season, but we have the capacity to bring in a couple more people before the season or during the first part of the season to help us and really boost the squad, not just for now but for longer term as well.
“I’ve always said this, and I’ll always continue to say this, we don’t want to bring in the wrong people. When you make contractual decisions, they are generally long decisions, and they have a big impact on the group.