We caught up with new Bath Rugby coaches, Toby Booth and Neal Hatley, recently to chat to them about the decision to move to Bath, and the challenges that lie ahead for them.
Neal Hatley – "After 14 years at London Irish, both as a player and a coach, I was ready for the next step. I've worked with Gary Gold in the past and this opportunity was just too good to pass up. I have always admired the club from afar, my brother (Steve Hatley, scrum-half) used to play here and it's a fantastic club with great traditions.
"Games against Bath in the past have always been competitive, hard fought affairs. The Rec is a tough place to come to as an opposition team, they never make your life easy and this is something we are aiming to build on going forwards."
Toby Booth – "I've been at London Irish for a long time and have achieved a lot on and off the pitch, developing a number of players through to international selection. A lot of those players are now also moving on and so it seems like an end of an era. I've worked with Gary Gold and Hats (Neal Hatley) before so it's exciting to be working with them now, but also you need to stretch yourself by working with new people.
"I had a couple of opportunities elsewhere but I chose Bath because of the loyal support and its attitude to rugby as a city. I've always wanted to be associated with a club that is part of the fabric of the city and I believe Bath Rugby gives me that perfect opportunity.
"There are some very good players here, and our initial job as coaches is to assess the squad and connect them with where we want them to go to be successful. The Club and supporters will be disappointed with how the past season has gone but that's ancient history, this is the start of the new and we all need to embrace that."