Bath Rugby confident that more players will sign new contracts in coming weeks
Saturday's defeat against Saracens may have only marked the halfway point of the season but Bath Rugby have already begun setting their stall out for 2013-14.
Six current first-team players announced extensions to their contracts with the club last Friday, with more expected to do so in the coming weeks.
Matt Banahan, Ryan Caldwell, Nathan Catt, Carl Fearns, Lee Mears and Ben Williams have all put pen to paper on new deals as Gary Gold continues his development of the first-team since taking over as head coach in the summer.
"These signings represent a huge declaration of intent from our playing squad," said Gold.
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"We put a real emphasis on taking care of our current players and their contracts, so we are very happy to have completed these deals in such good time.
"That these guys were all keen to stay and be a part of what we are trying to achieve here at Bath says an enormous amount for the club.
"They are all outstanding individuals as well as outstanding players, so it's fantastic news that they will all be wearing the Bath jersey for seasons to come."
First-team coach Mike Ford, who was an early appointment to Gold's backroom staff, added that recruitment was a continuing project for the club.
Scrum-half Michael Claassens is the most notable player whose current deal ends this summer not to yet re-sign but Ford said Bath are still negotiating terms with several current stars.
"We work really hard on recruitment and we've been talking to the players who have been announced for three or four weeks, so it's pleasing that we've made some headway there," said the former England defence chief.
"We want to try and finish our recruitment by midway through January because we need to say to our own squad what we want to do, whoever is staying or going. We need to give them ample time if they are not with us next year.
"The good thing about it is that everyone we've spoken to wants to stay at the club. No one has said they want to leave, which is fantastic.
"It shows they are enjoying what's happening at Bath, the way we are developing as individuals and the way we are giving them a vision of where we want to be down the line.
"There are two, three or four others who are really close to signing as well. Just because people aren't on that list doesn't mean they are going.
"There are ongoing negotiations in terms of the guys who are here already but we want to try and rattle them off early, so everyone knows what's going on."