Houston to return to Bath as injury replacement

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Queensland Reds number eight Leroy Houston will return to former club Bath as an injury replacement player.

Houston, who became a cult hero in the three years he spent with the English club, will take up a medical joker contract, returning to Ballymore for pre-season.

Reds coach Nick Stiles said Queensland appreciate the UK club's willingness to release Houston from the second year of his contract earlier this season and were happy to return the favour.

"Bath released Leroy from his contract early to pursue playing for the Reds in 2017 and to put himself into Wallabies contention," he said.

"They have suffered a few short-term injuries in the back row and we were happy to reciprocate the goodwill. Leroy will be back for the start of our pre-season and while he will be missed by Brisbane City, it presents an opportunity for other players to get more game time and further develop ahead of the next Super Rugby season.”

Leroy Houston has been playing NRC for Brisbane City. Photo: Getty ImagesBath coach Todd Blackadder confirmed earlier on Tursday that Houston was being considered as a replacement for David Denton and Taulupe Faletau, who are out for four months and eight weeks, respectively. 

"We've been scouring the earth trying to find a replacement,” Blackadder told the Bath Chronicle.

"It could be Leroy, but we've got to get through a couple of things first.

"He was pretty special here. We've still got a few hurdles to jump getting his release, but I think it's going to happen, which would be great.

"It would be to bridge a short-term gap."

U20s star Adam Korczyk is likely to step up for NRC side Brisbane City now that Houston is set to miss the remainder of the NRC.