It is unarguable that Todd Blackadder was a quality Rugby player, going from a place on his school’s bench, to captaining the All Blacks with just greats as Jonah Lomu at his side. This gave him the experience and skill he needed to step off the field, and onto the sideline seamlessly without denting his reputation as a Rugby great.
Since his coaching career began back in 2004 at the Gunners, he hascome on leaps and bounds, continuing to allow his Rugby credentials to rub off on his sides, creating top teams; his time as Bath being no different, even showing traits of the coach who is on fire at the minute, Eddie Jones. Todd, as Eddie does, believes that Rugby is a ‘tough sport and you have to be physically and mentally strong’ which is very much the truth, making tough training and preparation much more needed as the seasons go by.
Blackadder is no stranger to this fact; not allowing his team to hold up on the intensive training, which to be fair is what he should be doing, as this plan has turned Bath Rugby Club around, from them finishing ninth last season, to only losing two out of all games this season, showing very impressive improvement! Even after this show of positive steps, it is still more likely than ever that George Ford will be leaving the Somerset side at the end of the season. Now although he will be missed, Blackadder seems to have accepted Ford’s departure, coming out with a statement saying; “I just want him yo really enjoy… if it’s his last year at Bath, I want him to enjoy the environment”. This is the best the Bath fans could hope to hear about Ford, as although he probably won’t stay, he will definitely be giving it his all with his time left, as everything in the camp is in good form.
The Bath side have been praised highly this season by many, even their own boss, which is rare considering his belief that thinking you’re at the top can quickly bring you to the bottom. But the Kiwi was confident stating that his team ‘give so much effort in every game’, which is the least Todd will want to see from his currently on the ball players. This mindset seems to be brought about from his rather rough childhood, putting up with his parents’ divorce at a young age and also the loss of his brother. When asked about upbringing, he made it clear that this has made him see that ‘growing up having your ar*e kissed’ makes it difficult when things get tough.
I guess this strict theory of Blackadder’s is working, not only in his case but in Eddie’s case, showing that this commitment to putting in maximum effort everywhere is the key to good Rugby, but with (as Blackadder said) as much talent as New Zealand in the country, can Bath keep things powering forward and make an even bigger wave in the Premiership?