Bath hunt defence coach after leaky start to season

Date published: November 25 2021 - Planet Rugby

Bath have revealed they are on the lookout to appoint a defence coach following a review into the Premiership outfit’s disappointing start to the season.

The review, led by former Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths, looked to establish why Bath are nine points adrift at the foot of the league table.

Head coach Neal Hatley currently oversees the defence but, having conceded 234 points and 30 tries in seven games, he’s to be relieved of that duty with former Harlequins boss Paul Gustard, now with Italian club Benetton, reported to be in the frame.

Actively looking

“First and foremost, the reviews have given us a really solid view of what we are doing, and lots of what we are doing is working exceptionally well,” director of rugby Stuart Hooper said.

“But the thing with sport is the 80 minutes is the bit that always gets judged. That’s fact.

“There are three key areas. The first one is a defence coach. We are actively looking and we are going to bring in a defence coach.

“That will be an immediate acquisition, someone who comes into the environment ASAP. There is an immediacy to it.

“Where we are with our defence is not good enough. It’s time now to change that and allow a different voice to come in and run the defence.

“We have a list of people who we are going to speak to and we will take our time to make the right decision, albeit to get it done as quickly as we can. It is a big role, and it’s something we want to get right.

“The other part was around our resource across physio and psychology, mainly. We have got a massive injury list and a huge amount of players who require the support and attention of physio and some psychological support. We increased that as of Tuesday.

“The third piece, which is really what we do day to day, is making sure we have got the best day set-up. A realignment from us as a group. It’s about being as efficient as we can be, day to day.”

RFU announce huge revenue shortfall

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced that revenue for the 2020/21 financial year stood at £120million less than forecasts before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RFU’s reported revenue is £97m – compared to £167m in 2019/20 – and there is an underlying loss to reserves of £21.3m, which is £30m worse than pre-Covid forecasts.

The governing body secured financial stability by implementing cost cutting measures including 119 redundancies, a debenture donation programme and emergency financial schemes made available by the UK Government.