STATEMENT: Bath add a second new coach of the day - Ruck

STATEMENT: Bath add a second new coach of the day

Bath Rugby is delighted to announce experienced coach Richard Blaze will join the club as an Assistant Coach this summer.

The 38-year-old has over a decade’s worth of experience following his early retirement from playing in 2010 due to injury.

Finishing his player career aged 25 whilst at Leicester Tigers, Blaze remained at Welford Road as an Assistant Coach, winning the Premiership in 2012/13, and he developed into the senior side’s Forwards Coach in a period Tigers also made back-to-back Premiership semi-finals.

Whilst with the Tigers, he also held the position of Academy Development Coach and Co-ordinator during the 2017/18 season and led Loughborough Students’ defence in National League 1. In the same year, the former Worcester Warriors lock was named England Under-20s Forwards Coach, aiding the latter’s route to the 2018 World Rugby U20 Championship final.

Blaze became England Women Forwards Coach following the tournament and after two years, he returned to the Premiership with Wasps and was key in them reaching the 2019/20 final. More recently, he has been a consultant Forwards and Defence Coach at Loughborough.

“After a pretty turmoil year for myself, I’m proud to be joining such a historical club and I’m excited by the journey ahead,” Blaze said.

“There is a great group of young players at the club, some who I have worked with before, and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow their game.

“I want to add to the momentum the team has experienced over the past couple of months, and I’m relishing the opportunity to work with Johann and the other coaches to help drive the team towards the top end of the Premiership.”

“Eight departures” – Bath confirm their leavers list for the summer

Bath Rugby can confirm the departure of eight senior players this summer.

“The contribution of these men to Bath Rugby has been significant,” Head of Rugby Johann van Graan told the clubs website. 

“We wish nothing but the best for Daz, Doughts, Greeny, Gabe, Val, D’Arcy, Spenny and Wes in their next ventures.

“They have had a positive influence on our group throughout the season and we have enjoyed having them as part of our journey.

“I have no doubt they will succeed in their future endeavours. We wish them all the very best of luck for what’s next.”

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BATH DEPARTURES:

#1. Tom Doughty

A try-scoring machine for the University of Bath in BUCS Super Rugby, Doughty was one of the university game’s hottest topics between 2017 and 2019. His plaudits earned him an opportunity within the Bath Rugby Senior Academy and he debuted in Blue, Black and White against Newcastle Falcons in 2018. 

After a few years learning his trade, which included a brief stint at Coventry in the Championship, the 26-year-old deservedly gained his Premiership stripes at home to Sale Sharks in 2021.

A much loved and popular member of the squad, Doughty went on to feature in Europe for the first time last season and crossed the whitewash on the road in Toulon at the backend of 2022. His maiden Premiership try followed against Northampton Saints in March. 

In total, the hooker made 24 senior appearances for the club. 

“I will miss Doughts’ desire to get better every day,” van Graan said.

“He gave his all in every single training session and match. We wish him well in the next part of his career.”

Tom Doughty of Bath Rugby celebrates after winning with Danny Cipriani of Bath Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears at the Recreation Ground on 5 March 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

#2. Max Green

Green made his switch to the South West in 2017 and has enjoyed six years at the club. 

His debut came in the LV Cup in a win over London Irish in 2017/18, a season where he also achieved his first outings in the Premiership. The following campaign saw the scrum-half appear in the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time, scoring in a 18-16 win over Wasps at The Rec. 

Away from the field, where he has made 45 appearances for the club to date, the 27-year-old has been an influential person in the squad, earning the role of leading on changing room celebrations post-wins. 

“Greeny has been one of the biggest influences in our group,” van Graan said.

“He is a great team man and has a real hunger to perform. We wish him good luck for the next stage of his career.” 

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