Blackadder gets set for new Bath era

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 14:11
Large todd blackadder gestures 80

INTERVIEW: Four new coaches will be gracing the Premiership in 2016/17, but Bath fans will be most excited about former All Black captain Todd Blackadder's arrival at the Rec.

Formerly of the Crusaders, the powers that be at Bath decided the 44-year-old was the man to lead their young English core back to the play-offs just a year after reaching the Twickenham final.

He arrives with immense pedigree, having led the Super Rugby province over seven seasons, reaching the Final on two occasions, and only missing the play-offs once – and Northampton Saints are the first challenge the Kiwi will face in the Premiership.

A man cited by Ritchie McCaw as one of the greatest influences on his career, Blackadder is hoping to have the same galvanising effect on the West Country outfit and admits he feels right at home already.

"It’s been fantastic so far," he said. "I've been here a couple of weeks now and while that may not sound like a long time, I've been made to feel very welcome since I arrived.

"We've already been away for pre-season games and I've got to know all the lads, and I have to say I've been very impressed.

"It's a great group who just want to work hard, so I feel like I've been here for six months already!

"No-one in the organisation at all has really spoken about last year. Everyone went through a bit of adversity, and I sense that if anything there is a little bit more steel that's come out of that.

"My focus is only on the future and making sure we are as well prepared as we can be for this week, so we'll be looking to nail the performance side of things as we don't have the time for anything else."

Blackadder arrives with highly-respected assistant Tabai Matson, who is also vastly-experienced within Kiwi rugby and will be looking to bring all that knowledge to the English game.

And between them, Blackadder is confident they have the quality at Bath already to make a big impact on the Premiership standings come the end of season.

He added: "Every week you've got to put your very best on the line, go out there and perform, and this is a new team with new goals and a new ambition.

"We’ve been putting in some big shifts and making sure we're really well aligned with how we want to play.

"We're lucky; we've got some great eights, nines and tens who are of international quality – that's key to the spine of any side.

"I'm really excited to be coaching in the Premiership – it's a great opportunity for me. When I had to make the decision to come over here, the thing that excited me the most was this competition.

"It's going to be hard every single week in this league, but that excites me, and it's great for me to be able to come in and continue my development in a new competition."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 20 16 1 3 79
Exeter Chiefs 20 13 3 4 74
Saracens 20 15 1 4 72
Leicester Tigers 20 12 0 8 57
Bath 20 11 0 9 53
Northampton Saints 20 9 0 11 48
Harlequins 20 10 0 10 47
Gloucester 20 7 2 11 46
Newcastle Falcons 20 8 0 12 40
Sale Sharks 20 6 1 13 36
Worcester Warriors 20 5 2 13 31
Bristol 20 3 0 17 19