Ford urges Hatley to stay at Bath

Date published: December 3 2015

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Bath head coach Mike Ford believes forwards coach Neal Hatley would be wise to stay with the club even if England came calling with a job.

Hatley has been linked with a position under international boss Eddie Jones, despite having signed a four-year contract extension in September.

The Chorley born former front-rower helped Bath to the Premiership final last season and Ford is clearly keen not to lose him to the Test arena.

"I think the proof is in the pudding and he has been outstanding," he told BBC Points West.

"We all know how much work he does on scrum analysis and he finds ways of making them a better scrumager."

Ford is therefore unsurprised Hatley has been rumoured to be an option for England heading into 2016 as the Test team hopes to bounce back from a disappointing Rugby World Cup where they failed to make the knockouts.

"Our scrum is one of the best in Europe," he added.

"So no, it does not surprise me he is being linked with an international position."

He continued: "I think I've got great experience of being an assistant coach with England and it's not necessarily the next step.

"Neal is also in charge of our defence and is developing here and his ultimate ambition is to be head coach of an organisation somewhere down the line.

"So you have to be careful that if you go back to being a specialist coach for only 10 games a year, it's not necessarily the best step for you."

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