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8 May 2012, 12:48pm

Bath Rugby announce strong new coaching set-up

Bath Rugby are delighted to today announce the new coaches who will be joining the Club for the 2012/13 season.

Gary Gold, who most recently made a significant impact by returning Newcastle Falcons to winning ways, will join as Head Coach, taking charge of the rugby department.  He will be bringing Toby Booth, Mike Ford, and Neal Hatley in alongside Brad Davis as his coaching team for next season. It is a very strong team with a wealth of both international and club rugby experience.

Gold arrives with international, Super 14 and Premiership experience, having spent four years as Assistant Coach with the Springboks, following stints as Head Coach with both Western Province and London Irish. He was part of the South Africa coaching team who won both the 2009 Tri-Nations and British and Irish Lions series of the same year.

Speaking about the move, Gary said: "I'm really looking forward to coming on board at Bath. It's a very ambitious Club, with a great array of talent within the squad that I'm excited to be working with. There is a good culture developing here, and I'm keen to help further that with my own expertise and experience."

Toby Booth also has international and club rugby experience, having been forwards coach for the England Saxons in the Churchill Cup, coached the England Students, Universities and Under 21's, prior to becoming Head Coach at London Irish.

"Bath is a great Club, with clear goals and targets and know where they want to be.  I'm really keen to start working with the squad." Toby said. "I have enjoyed all my coaching roles, but do feel now is the right time to move on to another Club and challenge."

Former Great Britain Rugby League international Mike Ford has most recently been working with Gold at Newcastle Falcons and has over nine years international coaching experience, four with Ireland and more than five with England. He has coached on three Rugby World Cup campaigns, including seeing England through to the 2007 World Cup Final. Mike was also a member of the 2005 British and Irish Lions coaching team, and has Premiership experience, as Head Coach at Saracens before joining England.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to coach one of the most recognised Club sides in the world." Mike commented. "Bath have great support from the most knowledgeable of fans, and I'm really looking forward to working with a strong coaching group and a great bunch of players."

Neal Hatley, a former front row forward, has been managing the Academy programme and working with the 1st XV for three seasons at London Irish.

Neal said: "I'm very excited by the challenge of moving into the Forwards Coach role with Bath. I have been impressed with the ambition and facilities at the Club and am really looking forward to working with the players and coaches."

Nick Blofeld, Bath Rugby Chief Executive, added: "Gary has put together a very strong team with great experience.  This also demonstrates the Club's long-term commitment to being the best we can be and getting the most out of a talented squad. They have tremendous experience and complimentary skills, especially with Brad Davis remaining as part of the coaching team."

More details about each of the coaches' specific roles will be provided when they report for pre-season in June.

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