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Bailey searching for new club

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: August 06, 2008

James Bailey

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JAMES BAILEY has officially ended his time at Kingsholm and is currently looking for a new club.

The winger had been hopeful of a transfer to French outfit Toulon, but that move has fallen through in the last month, making him a free agent.

Bailey, who turned 25 yesterday, was offered a new contract by Gloucester but took the decision to look elsewhere at the back end of last season after four years with the club.

“The club and I came to a mutual agreement that I would leave,” he said.

“I felt I wasn't getting the number of first team opportunities I needed to show what I can do at this stage of my career.

“I leave with no bad feeling. I have met some great friends and had a great time playing rugby for Gloucester.

“Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future.”

Bailey, who joined from rivals Bristol in 2004, says there are clubs both at home and in France interested in his signature.

He is also pursuing a central contract with the England Sevens outfit, with the World Cup in the shortened form of the game coming up this season.

This after the Toulon move was called off just as Bailey was due to fly out and sign.

“I think the deal went flat after Toulon failed to sign Dan Carter,” he said.

“They wanted to sign a high profile southern hemisphere player so everything was put on hold when that fell through.

“Now they've signed Sonny Bill Williams (from rugby league) and haven't been back in touch.”

Bailey, known for his raw speed, made 48 starts for Gloucester and scored 13 tries during his time at Kingsholm.

His most famous try came against Wasps at Kingsholm in the 2005/2006 season, finishing off a length of the field move involving Ryan Lamb and James Simpson-Daniel.

“Sinbad was the major part of that move, but it was nice to finish it off,” Bailey added.

Personal highlights for the London-born star include winning the Middlesex Sevens in 2005 and the European Challenge Cup final win in 2006.

He said: “The sevens win sticks out because it was a team full of young guys out to show what they could do. And winning the Challenge Cup was big because of the style of rugby we played along the way to the final.

“I'll never forget either day.”

Bailey made just 10 starts for Gloucester last season, but attracted plaudits for his performances when asked to switch to full back due to injuries and players being called up to international duty.

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    Arnold Batballs, Bristol  |  August 06 2008, 12:37PM

    Richard Hill said he should have stayed at Bristol and developed his career but he wasn't prepared to wait. Richard Hill was right.