Posts tagged: Donald

New Bath Rugby signing Presitland says he will miss out on opportunity to work with Stephen Jones

Wales star Rhys Priestland believes his summer move north of the border to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football club Bath Rugby will have an adverse effect on his career as a Wales international with chief coach Warren Gatland preferring players based in the country for his teams during international matches.

However, the 28 year old has insisted that he is happy with his decision and does not regret it one bit, despite seriously limiting his chances of pulling on the red jersey of Wales again. According to the player, he is comfortable with his decision but he does believe it could affect his international career adversely but admitted that it is something that he has to learn to live with.

In his latest match for his current club, the Welsh region side Scarlets in the Pro 12, Priestland came off the bench to score the winner against bottom club Zebre with the final kick of the match.

He has admitted that leaving the Scarlets for Bath Rugby will be difficult for him, especially after it was announced that his former rival for the starting position at outside half Stephen Jones is set to take over the duties as attacks coach for the team from next season. Read more »

Donald to captain Bath Rugby in Italy

Stephen Donald will wear the captain’s armband for the first time as Bath Rugby take on the Italian giants Calvisano in the fourth round tie of the Amlin Challenge Cup in Italy on Saturday. There will be no changes to the front row that took on the Italian side at The Rec in their 67-11 victory in the reverse fixture last weekend with David Wilson and Charlie Breech scrumming down either side of Brett Sharman who will start as the hooker.

Dominic Day and Dave Atwood will once again be partners in the second row while Simon Taylor is shifted to the blind side flank as Josh Ovens takes his place in the open side flank for the match for Bath Rugby. Nick Koster, who scored a try in a dream debut last weekend, will keep his place as the number eight for the team as the team looks to build their play around him.

Ben Williams will be starting at inside centre while Kyle Eastmond will be making his first start for the side at outside centre, making it an all new partnership for the Aviva Premiership side this weekend as it looks to enter into the next stages of the competition as early as it can without making too much of the match, considering the busy period ahead for the team, both at home and in Europe.

Jack Cuthbert is slated to retain his place as a full back in the side and with Tom Biggs making his return to the left wing, Horacio Agulla will be given a starting berth on the right hand side for Bath Rugby who have been having a tournament of dreams and would want it to continue without suffering any undue injuries and other issues that might hamper their campaign for the rest of the season.

DONALD IS STAYING

Speculation that Stephen Donald will be leaving Bath for a return to New Zealand has been dismissed by the West Country club. Bath admit to having held a “frank conversation” with the Kiwi after a series of disappointing performances.

Donald was dropped for Bath’s trip to Sale last Friday after a particularly poor performance against Saints two weeks ago and this led to rumours that he would be leaving the club after less than a year at the Rec. Donald himself has been disappointed with his recent form and has requested a chance to play for Bath’s second string, Bath United, on Monday evening. Donald will find himself lining up against Somerset County Senior XV. The contrast with where Donald was Six months ago is massive. From a World Cup Final against France to a Monday night run out for Bath United against Somerset County.

Donald arrived at Bath after the World Cup in November. He had been named as standby fly half for the All Blacks in their campaign but after a string of injuries to fly halfs throughout the tournament he was called up and made his lone performance of the tournament as a replacement in the final. He impressed throughout the final and eventually kicked the winning penalty to secure the All Blacks their second World Cup triumph.

Donald began his Bath career in impressive fashion with a top quality performance against Montpellier but then struggled to find any consistency before a serious knee injury ruled him out for two months. He returned against Northampton two weeks ago but was clearly lacking form and fitness.

Donald’s absence against Sale was not expected and was understood to surprise even the Sale coaches. Bath’s fortunes did not improve in Donald’s absence and they were handed a defeat at the hands of Sale to more or less end their hopes of Heineken Cup qualification.