"Former Captain and Coach" Bath Legend to Leave Club After 15 Years - Ruck

“Former Captain and Coach” Bath Legend to Leave Club After 15 Years

Bath Rugby General Manager and former Head Coach Stuart Hooper will be leaving the club at the end of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. Hooper is a certifiable club legend in Somerset, having also spent five seasons as Bath Captain during his playing career.

Stuart Hooper, Captain of Bath Rugby – Photo mandatory by-line:Phil Mingo/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No:183700120 – 05/02/2016 – SPORT – RUGBY UNION – Aviva Premiership – Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby – Recreation Ground, Spring Gardens, Bath

Hooper made 192 appearances for Bath, between 2008 and 2016. Hooper was apart of the Blue, Black and Whites side that won the 2008 European Challenge Cup, with Bath crowned champions after a 24-16 victory over Worcester Warriors, at Gloucester’s Kingsholm Stadium. He also Captained Bath to the 2015 Aviva Premiership Final, but was overcome by Saracens, who won 28-16.

The former lock ended his playing career in 2016 due to a back injury, hanging up the boots at 34-years-old. In 2019 Hooper took over from Todd Blackadder, to become Bath’s new Director of Rugby. He held this post for three years, before making the change to the General Manager role, following Johann van Graan’s appointment to Head Coach.

Stuart Hooper, Director of Rugby of Bath Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears at the Recreation Ground on 24 February 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Hooper had a key role in overseeing the Bath Academy and Women’s side, following his move to General Manager. The 41-year-old spoke to the Bath Rugby Official Club Website, about his rugby life at the somerset club.

“I will always be immensely proud to have stood beside and led many incredible women and men during my time at the club,”

“Every player, member of staff and supporter has been a part of my journey, and I thank you all.

“Bath Rugby has taught me so much, and I leave this great club with a heart full of wonderful memories and a head full of experiences and determination for the future.”

Bath chief executive Tarquin McDonald added: “Stuart is deeply rooted to this club, deeply connected to our city and his contribution over 15 years has been immense; 192 appearances as a player, five seasons as captain, Stuart earned the respect of every head coach that he worked with.

Bath Director of Rugby, Stuart Hooper during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby at Sandy Park on 2nd April 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

“He led us through the challenges of Covid, including a top four finish in 2019/20. More recently he has focused on shaping the club’s future through his work on our senior squad recruitment, and through our Women and Girls project, building towards a professional Bath Rugby Women’s team competing at The Rec.

“Stuart deserves huge respect for everything he has given the club. First and foremost, everything that he does puts squad and staff first, he is a genuine club man.”