Blackadder in at Bath

Bath Rugby have finally announced that Todd Blackadder will be taking over as Director of Rugby. With just weeks to go until the start of the Rugby Union season, Bath have comfirmed that it will be Blackadder, formerly of Crusaders, alongside his assistant Tabai Mason, who has been named as head coach, who will be putting the team through their paces.

The former New Zealand captain has some fantastic experience of challenging for the title with Crusaders in Super Rugby, and will be hoping he can use all his guile, man-management and coaching skills to lift Bath back up to the top of the table.

On taking over, he insisted that Bath are ambitious enough for him, and have enough talented players to make a mark on the Premiership this season.

Bath start their campaign on Saturday September 3rd, away at Northampton. Whilst the game isn’t one of the TV featured matches (with the Twickenham double-header of Bristol vs Harlequins & Saracens vs Worcester being chosen by Sky as the ones to watch). Their pre-season tour is starting to take shape now that Blackadder is on board.

As well as managing to secure the services of a top class manager for the next few seasons, Bath have one eye on the future with their players too, with England internationals Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson signing new contracts that will keep them at Bath until 2019 at the very least.

Joseph has impressed at Centre, and at 25 has his best years ahead of him for both England and Bath. Back Watson has been in fine form, as shown on the Tour of Australia, and has become a mainstay in the England team despite being just 22 years old.

They will be lining up for Bath alongside their Welsh international teammates including Simon Jones and Darren Williams – both of whom will have one eye on the Wales-Argentina autumn international (click here for ticket info).

All fans will be hoping that between them they can improve on last season’s 9th place finish, which left them out of European competition for the first time in four seasons.