JAMIE BHATTI has moved to English Premiership side Bath with immediate effect after 18 months struggling to command game-time at Edinburgh.

The loose-head joined Edinburgh from Glasgow Warriors in the summer of 2019 but has managed only 15 games – and just four starts – for the club, with Rory Sutherland and Pierre Schoeman both ahead of him in the pecking order.

Despite this, he was recalled to Gregor Townsend’s Scotland squad during for the recent Autumn Test window, and will be viewing this move as an opportunity to further push his international career forward.

“We think this is a move that works for both parties,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. “Jamie is an ambitious Scotland internationalist and is understandably keen for more game time than we’ve been able to offer here, with our props playing so well. We wish him all the best for the rest of the season at the Rec.”

Bath have taken the 27-year-old on until the end of the season as cover for Lewis Boyce, who is currently rehabbing a knee injury.

“Jamie is a high calibre player with international experience,” said Stuart Hooper, Bath’s Director of Rugby. “He’s the right fit for our club and I am sure he will no doubt battle for a chance to wear the blue, black and white jersey.

“He brings a raw edge with his game and will only add to our pack for the remainder of the season. I am confident he will fit in well with our front row and adapt to our way of playing the game very quickly.

“We have decided to bring in a player of Jamie’s quality to ensure our standards at the set-piece are kept high and I’m confident he will add his quality to the forward pack. He comes into the Farleigh environment at an important time and has been brought in as injury cover until the end of the season.”

Bhatti is unlikely to be the only senior Edinburgh player to head off to pastures new during the next six months.

Duhan van der Merwe (who has already been linked with a move to Worcester), Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Viliame Mata are among the leading players who come out of contract in the summer.

Cockerill is adamant that he wants to keep as many of his frontline players as possible on but finding the cash to do that is going to be a real challenge as Scottish Rugby adjusts its horizons to accommodate the financial constraints brought about by Covid.