Bath Rugby have confirmed that flanker Guy Mercer has been released from the club ahead of the new season.
The decision comes despite the 28-year-old having two more years of contract left with the Recreation Ground outfit.
Mercer joined Bath in 2010 and has racked up 123 appearances since then. He also went on to captain the club in 2016.
Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder paid tribute to Mercer and added that stacked back row options led to his release.
“We have an extremely deep and talented range of players in the back row and it was clear that time on the pitch would be limited,” Blackadder said.
“We’d like to thank Guy for the immense contribution he’s made during his time with the club. Not only has he captained the team, he’s been hugely influential passing on his experience to an exciting crop of talent coming through in his position.”
Mercer also had a loan stint with Ospreys last season with emerging talents like Tom Ellis and Josh Bayliss claiming their place in Blackadder's squad while Francois Louw is also slated to return from a knee injury.
“I have had an incredible time with Bath Rugby and want to thank the players, staff and friends of the club that have made that possible," he said.