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Hayter to leave Cov for Quins; RUGBY.

Byline: JOHN WILKINSON

HOOKER James Hayter is leaving Coventry at the end of the season after signing for Zurich Premiership club NEC Harlequins.

The England under-21 forward joins the London giants on July 1 and will be second choice behind Ireland and British Lions legend Keith Wood at The Stoop - a chance which, he says, was just too good to turn down.

"I wasn't looking to move - Harlequins came and approached me," said 22-year-old Hayter.

"It was too good an opportunity to miss.

"Keith is the best hooker in the world, and if I can't learn from him who can I learn from?

"It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm delighted."

Hayter, who missed all last season with knee injuries, was due to make his 21st appearance of the current campaign for Coventry in today's home game against Otley.

"I'm sad to be leaving my local club, everyone there has been great to me, but if things don't work out the door has been left open for me to come back," he said.

The approach from Quins was made by chief executive Mark Evans, who knows Hayter from the player's days with England Students and Under-21s.

"We are delighted that James has chosen to join us," said Harlequins' team manager Mike Scott.

"Obviously we think he has got a bright future in the game and we hope he is going to develop to his full potential here".

Said Coventry's rugby administrator Ian Carvell: "While we are very disappointed to lose a player of James's quality, he goes with our best wishes.

"He is the sort of player we would like to build our future on, but we understand he wants to play in the Premiership and go full-time.

"He has said to me that when Coventry become a Premiership side again he would come back straight away. We look forward to the day when players like James stay with us."
COPYRIGHT 2001 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 21, 2001
Words:324
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