Kyle Eastmond's arrival is nigh, but who is he?

Kyle Eastmond's arrival is nigh, but who is he?

With only two weekly rounds left in rugby league's Super League and just the play-offs to follow the arrival of St Helens starlet Kyle Eastmond is imminent. It was revealed in March that the England scrum-half was to join Bath at the end of the current Super League season, which depending upon the Saints progress in the play-offs could be as late as October.

Eastmond follows former league stars Jason Robinson, Chev Walker and Shontayne Hape to the Recreation Ground in their attempts to forge a career in the 15-man form of the game. Although an undoubtedly exceptional talent with the oval ball since the announcement of the switch Eastmond has come in for criticism for some on-field behaviour, this behaviour resulting in a number of sanctions for the 21-year-old.

In February, Eastmond was forced to apologise to Saints fans for leaving the pitch immediately after his side's 25-18 defeat by Warrington, a game in which the scrum-half failed to score. No more than a fortnight after the Oldham-born Saint's move was announced he found himself suspended by the Merseyside based club.

The suspension came after a charge of "serious misconduct" was levied against Eastmond, this coming after being found guilty of making offensive hand gestures to supporters following his sides shock home defeat to Harlequins, Eastmond finding himself dropped to the reserves as a result. Numerous injuries to the St Helens squad soon saw Eastmond reinstated and welcomed out of the rugby league wilderness and since he has never looked back.

Since the unfortunate incident that saw Eastmond suspended the dynamic half-back has showed nothing but remorse. "I regret 100 percent what I did towards the fans," he admitted in an interview with the Mirror.

"It was an emotional thing. I made a decision to move on, like other players have, but I took the stick. It got to me and I acted in the wrong way, a bit childish.

"The fans showed disappointment in me leaving which I understand."

"But I don't think about that now. I am just going out there to perform to the best of my ability to help my team-mates."

As a product of the St Helens youth system, tallying a total of 417 points in 62 games since his debut in 2008 this move to rugby union might be the perfect way for Eastmond to put his misdemeanours behind him, reinvent himself if you will.

Like with many players who have made the switch to union from league where Eastmond will fit within Bath Director of Rugby Ian McGeechan's team has been one of many talking points since the announcement of his switch.

It is clear that McGeechan understands that it will take time for Eastmond's best position within the 15-man game to be found, with a clear view to starting the youngster out wide before moving him into the midfield.

"He has very good skills and great feet but we have to be patient and allow him to make progress naturally," McGeechan stated on the BBC Sport website.

"Hopefully we'll see the same talent that is there at St Helens emerging to be a real threat for us at Bath. 

Bath's success with converts is undoubted, Chev Walker perhaps the only exception. This was more as a result of Walker's own proneness to injury rather than his inability to fit in at Bath, thus finding himself back in rugby league with the Bradford Bulls.

If Eastmond is to end up at centre in the near future it cannot be doubted that with New Zealand international Stephen Donald inside him an exciting platform for Bath to attack from will be created, thus creating a dynamic backline that will excite spectators of not only Bath rugby but the Aviva Premiership as a whole.

It is not often that an English recruit into rugby union creates such excitement. I for one am hopeful that this expectation does not weigh heavy on the 21-year olds shoulders and that he is at least given time to mature within the game rather than being sent back to league as an unsuccessful reject within a matter of months like many before him.