Sunday 4 December 2016

Bath looking for new coach as Ford leaves

Published 17/05/2016 | 02:30

Mike Ford has left Bath after a disappointing season Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Mike Ford has left Bath after a disappointing season Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Bath have announced the departure of head coach Mike Ford after a disappointing season which saw them finish ninth in the Aviva Premiership.

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Ford, who had three years left on his contract, will leave the club just a year after leading them to their first Premiership final since 2004.

A trying campaign saw them miss out on qualification for next season's Champions Cup - a failure which prompted the Bath board to act.

Tarquin McDonald, managing director of Bath Rugby, said in a statement on the club's website: "Over the four years Mike has been with the club, both he and the team under his guidance have achieved a huge amount.

"He has developed an exciting, attacking style of rugby, helped to develop exciting talent and in 2014-'15 he brought the team to the final against Saracens at Twickenham.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike for all his hard work, passion and commitment to the club and wish him all the best for the future."

The statement continued: "Bath Rugby is currently reviewing the coaching set-up for the upcoming 2016-2017 season and will make a further announcement in due course."

Ford joined Bath as first-team coach in 2012 and has been head coach for the last three seasons.

The former Ireland defence coach acknowledged a major rebuilding job was in store at the Recreation Ground after his side's final-day win over Leicester earlier this month, saying: "We've got to move on from here. We are going to learn from this year and are going to come back stronger."

Five squad members from that impressive victory - Dom Day, Ollie Devoto, Horacio Agulla, Rob Webber and Jonathan Evans - are set to leave the club, leaving Ford's successor facing a significant task ahead.

Irish Independent

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