Tom Dunn has provided a window into the scale of change taking place behind the scenes at Bath Rugby, as the club’s hierarchy seek to draw a line under the club’s worst season of the professional era.
It remains to be seen who will remain in this hierarchy after the derby’s smashing 64-0 loss to Gloucester on Saturday to end a season of misery after losing 71-10 to Cherry and Whites in the Premiership Rugby Cup with a young and inexperienced side.
But Saturday was far worse, it was a Bath starting XV with 10 internationals, including superstars like Welsh great Taulupe Faletau, England star Joe Cokanasiga and Mercurial fly-half Danny Cipriani.
Following the embarrassment of the club’s fiercest historical rivals in the 24th round of the Premiership, a senior source at Bath Rugby has told the The telegraph of the day : “Changes have to and will happen to get us back to where we should be. Bath will return to the top.”
As already announced, Munster Head coach Johann van Graan will swap the Irish province for Bath in the summer, bringing with him fellow South African JP Ferreira as a defense coach.
Retired player Joe Maddock will return as offensive coacha position actually-currently vacant after David Williams left by mutual consent just nine months after his announced appointment. Ryan Davis assumed responsibility for these areas until the end of the 2021/22 season.
This summer, current Bath head coach Neal Hatley will once again become responsible for forwards only.
The question is whether Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper and even CEO Tarquin McDonald can survive the latest storm that has battered them, with the former lock initially set to remain in the club’s top rugby job in 2022/23 when the Coaching reshuffle was announced. back in December.
Van Graan is currently in the top job in rugby at Munster and has the experience and know-how to operate at Bath with no boss above him when it comes to playing performance on the pitch. The former Springbok manager has already played an important role in recruitment ahead of next season with a big-name player reshuffle also expected.
Bath have already confirmed Faletau’s departure for Cardiff Rugby and Danny Cipriani has announced he will leave this summer when his contract expires. British and Irish Lion Anthony Watson is set to be unveiled as a Leicester Tigers player next season soon while club legend Semesa Rokoduguni travels to France.
Former Saracens CEO Edward Griffiths replaced owner Bruce Craig as club chairman in January, having originally arrived in the West Country in the fall to carry out a detailed review with the aim of addressing systemic and he was not afraid to shake things up. since arriving in the former declining superpower of English rugby.
Griffiths is the driving force behind the suggestion Bath should ditch the luxury of their rural training base of Farleigh House to rediscover their urban roots, a move backed this week by club legend Matt Banahan.
Following the humiliation against Gloucester, The rugby module Pundit Jim Hamilton, former club captain of the Cherry and Whites and Scotland international, called for Hooper’s head to roll.
He said: “I’m going to say it bluntly and I feel bad saying it because it’s easy to judge and say you would do this, you should do that – Bath has to get rid of Hooper, they do.
“I don’t think Bath will fire Stuart Hopper because of what he’s done for the club (but) you can’t play a man like that. Bath were fully loaded in this game, or so they thought be fully charged.
“We’re talking about Bath, one of the biggest clubs in England, and you’re talking about one of the biggest games on the calendar and it’s 64-0. Now I don’t know what they’re going to do by Stuart Hooper. He’s a young guy, he’s a young manager, he played against him, respect him massively but you have to say how it is.
Few players in any Premiership team care about their club with the intensity of Dunn, and while reflecting on the season even before his ‘darkest day in the shirt’ on Saturday, the England international hooker has already summed up the season in one word: “disappointment”. ‘
However, he was quick to recognize that the changes were already happening to be in a better place next season.
Dunn said: “It’s been really disappointing overall, I’ve suffered injuries for the first time in a while. I’ve had back-to-back injuries so I’ve missed 12-14 weeks of rugby and football. From a team point of view, reflecting that is strange because we will be a very different club next season.
“We have new coaches coming in, new medical staff, new S&C staff, new chef, everything is going to be new.
“I don’t think there will be a lot of team thinking, it will be more about looking to the future.”
But the season is not over yet. Bath have two more games to survive with the London Irish at the next Rec before heading to Worcester Warriors on the final day of the regular season in a game that will likely decide who will finish bottom of the standings.
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