Bath Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder today announced that he will leave his role at the end of the current season. Blackadder signed a contract extension with Bath Rugby in September which should have kept him at The Rec until the end of next season. However, he has been granted an early release in order to become head coach at Japanese side Toshiba.
Baths remaining Premiership fixtures see them make the trip to both Sale and Leicester and a home fixture against Wasps, should they win all three they might well force their way into the play offs although that does seem unlikely given the difficulty of the fixtures and reliance on others dropping points.
Blackadder joined Bath Rugby at the beginning of the 2016/17 season and managed consecutive top six finishes in the Premiership to secure European Champions Cup rugby at the Rec. Previous to this he enjoyed much success in seven years as head coach of Canterbury Crusaders.
The New Zealander made a statement saying the following on the Bath Rugby website, “It’s been an honour and a privilege to lead the Blue, Black and White for the past three years and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved. It might not be silverware but together we have built strong foundations and I leave knowing that the best is absolutely yet to come.”
“Bath is a very special Club. I’d like to thank everyone, especially the players and all of the staff. I also want to thank our supporters, even in the wind, rain and biting cold they are all at the Rec cheering us on. Thank you. Our sights remain set on a top four finish and we are all intent on making this season our best one yet.”
Tarquin McDonald, Bath Rugby’s Chief Executive thanked Blackadder for his work during his time in charge in his statement he said: “I am pleased that we have been able to support Todd’s decision knowing it is right for him and his family.
“I have said before that it is a mark of Todd’s special and unique character, rare among coaches, that we have been able to bring about such positive change to the culture of our Club whilst he has been at the helm. Todd leaves us a stronger Club than the one he joined three years ago. He has been a pleasure to work with and I would like to thank him not only for his contribution of what has gone by but also for what is yet to come. I wish him every success for the future.”
It is expected that former Bath captain Stuart Hooper will take on the role of Director of Rugby although the club would only say that they will confirm details of the future coaching structure in the coming weeks.
Written by Stefan Hamilton