England and British Lions lock Matt Stevens has revealed heturned down competing offers and signed a four-year Bath Rugbycontract after he was given reassurances by senior club managementfigures that training facilities will be improved and that theproposed Rec development will go ahead.
Stevens, 26, committed himself to Bath Rugby until the summer of2012 on the eve of England's opening RBS 6 Nations defeat by Walesat Twickenham, signing his new contract at the England team hotellate last Friday afternoon.
That ended speculation about his short and long-term future andhe made it clear that talks with head coach Steve Meehan and clubdirector Simon Halliday had helped him decide to stay with Bath.
"The negotiations were fairly straightforward," he said.
"I made my concerns plain to Steve Meehan, Simon Halliday and therest of the Bath management.
"Bath is a team which can go on to some pretty meteoric heights,but it needs real ambition and some development issues need to besorted out.
"That's clear with regards to our training facilities and The Recdevelopment.
"I've been told it's going to happen, but the players, the media,the supporters ad everyone else will need to get behind the club andreally pressurise the whole community to make this happen.
"Bath Rugby means a great amount to the city and the South Westand it cannot move away from The Rec.
"I think Bath is not only one of the best places to play rugby,it also has the potential to be the best place to play rugby.
"It's clear I'm very fond of Bath. I want to take the club to newheights and signing a four-year contract is a statement of intent."