Press Notes | Worcester Warriors | Gallagher Premiership | R14

17 March 2021

Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper joined the media on Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership fixture against Worcester Warriors (The Recreation Ground, kick-off 14:00).

Bath Rugby head into the match on a high after a dominant display in Round 13 against Newcastle Falcons.

Forward dominance against Newcastle…

A bit of that was adapting to the conditions. The footage didn’t do the conditions justice, it was pretty horrible. You have to have both and sometimes there’s a conditions reason or a tactical reason why you might play one way. You look at the weekend and we got six tries from the forwards but the backs played some decent rugby as well - they put us in the position to score the try. We made seven line breaks and that’s down to the backs.

On Rhys’ late retraction from the Newcastle game...

Rhys was a precautionary measure really. He had a sore shoulder going into the game and then felt it a bit more in the warm-up, so we were happy to put Tian in there and pull Rhys out. He should be fine this weekend.

On TIAN Schoeman injury…

The biggest disappointment is for him first and foremost. He’s travelled here from South Africa with his family and obviously then to have an injury like that pretty early on - he’s also never really had an injury before - makes it difficult. We’re giving him and his family all the support he needs, and we’ll get him back on the field when he’s ready - but it won’t be this season.

On fly-half options…

Tom de Glanville could potentially be an option in the future, but I see him as predominantly a full-back and someone who can be quality in that position for years to come - I think you’ve seen that in the last few games.

We’ve got Rhys and Josh Matavesi who’s covered there well for us and Orlando Bailey, who’s developed very well in training, and for England U20s. Cam Redpath has played 10 for us as well as has George Worboys. It’s probably a very similar position to before Tian arrived but the positive in my mind from then is that Orlando and George have progressed in their ability to play 10 for us. It’s not ideal and it’s tough on Tian but we’ve still got good people.

On Worcester Warriors…

They pose a big threat. From an attack point of view, they have the second highest line breaks in the league, so they do like to play. They possess the ability to attack well through the middle of the field. They have some pretty dominant players who can be very confrontational upfront and, while they haven’t got the wins they’d like, on many occasions they haven’t been too far away. 

We’ve come back from the win at Newcastle where we really put the focus on ourselves, so we’ll take that into this game as well.

On Jaco Coetzee…

He’s not here but we’re working on it. The rugby that he was playing in South Africa has finished so he’s now contracted to us. We working to get him here; we’ll get him across as soon as we can. 

He’ll then have to quarantine and then work back into it so he could potentially be available before the end of the season, but it’s not something we’re planning for.

On players returning from injury…

Cam is up and running. He’s not quite back in full training but he’s doing all his conditioning and he’s had a big improvement on his neck. I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see him back in the mix for selection. 

Josh Bayliss is good; he’s on a graduated return to play for a head injury. He’s probably a couple of weeks away now.  We’re very cautious with head injuries and making sure the guys are absolutely right. We want him to be fit for this week but we also want him to be fit for the next 10 years to play for Bath so we have to managed that.



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