Monday, 31 January 2011

Hipkiss weighing up his options

England centre Dan Hipkiss has confirmed he could leave Leicester at the end of the season for a fresh challenge.

The 28-year-old still has a year to run on his current deal but Bath are rumoured to be among the suitors monitoring the situation.

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Lions to sign Butch - announced tomorrow (Tuesday)!

The MTN Lions are set to continue their resurgence and announce the signing of top Springbok Butch James on Tuesday.

While the Lions will not confirm anything before the announcement, sources close to the player believe he has come to terms with Bath to leave the English Premier club and join the Lions under coach John Mitchell as from the end of the European season.

Read more...

Match reports and reaction - Bath V Newcastle LV cup

Match Reports

Bath Rugby 11, Newcastle Falcons 6

Bath Rugby only led for 11 minutes of today’s LV= Cup clash at The Rec – but they led for the ones that mattered.

Newcastle Falcons took the lead courtesy of two Jimmy Goperth penalties, but Bath clawed their way back into this disjointed and unspectacular game via an Aaron Jarvis try and two Olly Barkley penalties.

Bath will now travel to Leicester Tigers on Friday knowing they still have a chance of reaching the semi-finals of the LV= Cup. But this afternoon's victory came at a cost.

This Is Bath

Match Reaction

Bath Rugby head coach Steve Meehan is to ask the England Saxons to release prop Duncan Bell back to his club.

Bath tighthead Aaron Jarvis was this afternoon forced off the pitch with a serious-looking shoulder injury mid-way through the LV= Cup win over Newcastle Falcons - and that leaves Meehan with a lack of options at Number 3.

With Davey Wilson away with England's Elite Player Squad and with Bell in camp with the Saxons, Bath were already short of tightheads going into this game.

This Is Bath

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Hape off to London Irish!?

Shontayne Hape, England’s first-choice inside centre, has held talks with London Irish and is ready to leave Bath at the end of this season.
The West Country club appear resigned to losing their former Kiwi rugby league star, judging by the fact that they are close to signing Leicester and England centre Danny Hipkiss as a replacement.

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Friday, 28 January 2011

Beattie to lead Bath Rugby against Newcastle Falcons

Bath Rugby team to face Newcastle Falcons, Satuarday KO 2.15pm

 

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Jacques Boussuge
13. Olly Barkley
12. Ben Williams
11. Tom Biggs
10. Sam Vesty
9. Mark McMillan
1. David Flatman
2. Pieter Dixon
3. Aaron Jarvis
4. Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe
5. John van der Giessen
6. Andy Beattie (c)
7. Josh Ovens
8. Ben Skirving

 

Replacements

16. Ted Stagg
17. David Barnes
18. Kane Palma Newport
19. Danny Grewcock
20. Luke Watson
21. Michael Claassens
22. Paul Roberts
23. Nick Scott

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Is Bath - Bath Closing in on Signings and other stories

Bath Rugby are closing in on a number of key signings, the Chronicle understands.

A source at the club said yesterday that at least two signings could be confirmed as early as next week.

In November, the Chronicle revealed that Bath were interested in enticing England lock forward Dave Attwood away from Gloucester.

It is understood that the deal is still on, with Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath unable to match Bath's offer for the combative young lock, who made his England debut against New Zealand during the autumn.

 

Bath Closing in on Signings
Bath May Turn to Scott After Call-ups
Haag Deserves Credit for Improvement: Bell
Beattie Looking to End Long Career at Rec
Batty Eager to Face Former Side
Fans View: Harinordoquy Antics Beyond of Hollywood
Tom Bradshaw: Bendy on Straight and Narrow
Exiles Put to Sword by United
Letters from Peter Downey, McGarrigle and Connett

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Council pledges £10m for new sports centre in Rec shake-up

Council chiefs have pledged £10 million towards the cost of a new sports centre for Bath.

It now looks increasingly likely that a new stadium for Bath Rugby at The Rec would mean the demolition of the city’s civic sports centre in North Parade Road, which was opened in 1975.

More details of a consultation exercise on expanding the rugby club’s footprint at The Rec will emerge in the next few days

 

Council pledges £10m for new sports centre in Rec shake-up

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Gloucester Rugby up the cash ante in battle with Bath for star Attwood

GLOUCESTER will not break their pay structure to match Bath's big-money offer for Dave Attwood – but have pushed new deal terms to the limit in a bid to keep the coveted lock, writes Nick Purewal

The Cherry and Whites upped the ante when rival Premiership clubs started flashing the cash but Bath have tabled a staggering sum for a lock, The Citizen understands.

 

Gloucester Rugby up the cash ante in battle with Bath for star Attwood

Monday, 24 January 2011

Bendy promoted to England Elite Player Squad

Bath Rugby full-back Nick Abendanon was today handed an RBS 6 Nations chance by England after being drafted into the England Elite Player Squad.

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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hape off to Irish? Dan Hipkiss to Bath?

According to todays Rugby Paper Hape is off to London Irish and we are in a battle with Sarries to sign Dan Hipkiss.

What do we think?

Dan Hipkiss profile

Biarritz Olympique V Bath Rugby - Match reports and reaction

Despite a late rally and three second half tries, Biarritz Olympique proved too strong on home ground for Bath Rugby, as they secured a bonus point 26-19 victory that saw them top Pool 4 to qualify for the quarter finals.

Bath Rugby
Daily Mail
Bath Rugby ERE
Telegraph

Match Reaction

Steve Meehan was proud of the never-say-die attitude of his Bath Rugby players following their 26-19 defeat in Biarritz, but the head coach admitted to leaving the Basque country with a sense of frustration at yet another narrow loss in Europe.

Bath won just two out of their six Pool 4 games, but never lost by more than seven points, illustrating the fine margins in this Heineken Cup group

This Is Bath

Friday, 21 January 2011

Barkley in the Blokely

When I was injured a year or so ago, I took advantage of a rare occasion - I was given some sustained time off by our medical staff (there was a bribe involved, but you don’t need to know the details). Having not seen my good friend Iain Balshaw and his beautiful family for some time, I decided to make the effort and catch a ‘Sleazyjet’ flight direct to sunnier parts.

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Bath Rugby team to face Biarritz, KO time and TV coverage info.

Bath Rugby team to face Biarritz Olympique, KO 1.30pm (UK time), on Sky Sports 1 - under the red button.

15. Nick Abendanon

14. Matt Banahan

13. Olly Barkley

12. Shontayne Hape

11. Tom Biggs

10. Butch James

9. Michael Claassens

1. Duncan Bell

2. Lee Mears

3. David Wilson

4. Stuart Hooper

5. Danny Grewcock

6. Simon Taylor

7. Luke Watson ( C )

8. Ben Skirving

 

Replacements

16. Pieter Dixon

17. David Flatman

18. Aaron Jarvis

19. Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe

20. Josh Ovens

21. Mark McMillan

22. Sam Vesty

23. Jack Cuthbert

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Robinson rubbishes Bath links

Andy Robinson has reiterated his commitment to fulfilling his contract as head coach of Scotland following reports linking him with a return to Bath.

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This Is Bath - 'Bath will see the best of Barkley now' and other stories.

Steve Meehan is backing Olly Barkley to hit his finest form for Bath Rugby after signing a new two-year deal with the club.

The head coach says Barkley is aware he may not always be deployed in his preferred position of inside centre but that the 29-year-old is more than happy to put the team first and play wherever he is asked.

Barkley, who has played 23 times for England, opted to extend his stay at Bath despite speculation that French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne were interested in securing his services.

 

Meehan: Bath Will See Best of Barkley Now
Banahan Warning to European Rivals
Bath Throw Off Shackles as Glut Follows Drought
Meehan: Only Win Will Give Us Chance
Fans View: Barkley News Worth the Wait
Tom Bradshaw: Time to Consumate Olly's Love Affair with Silverware
French Test Excites Biggs
Unlucky Moody Stays Positive
Peter Short: Farleigh Dream Still Shimmering
Wilson Ready for Returning Stevens Challenge
Letters from Trudy, Farrell and McGarrigle

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Cuthbert named in Scotland Six Nations squad

Scotland Head coach Andy Robinson today named three uncapped players in his squad for the 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship including Jack Cuthbert.


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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Messages from Olly Barkley...

Twitter messages from Olly Barkley after he re-signed for Bath Rugby this week:

"Will re-sign with Bath for another two years this week. Delighted to still be part of such an amazing club and place. Allez Bath :-)"

"Was never really a hard decision. My heart is here and at such an exciting time I feel honoured and grateful to be a part of it all."

Thankyou Olly made every Bath Rugby supporter very happy this week! :)

Great news - Barkley, Cuthbert and Haag sign new contracts

Bath Rugby are delighted to announce that Olly Barkley, Jack Cuthbert and forwards coach, Martin Haag, have all extended their contracts with the Club.
Olly and Jack have both agreed terms for two more years, and Martin has added another year to his contract.

Read more...

Bad News - Moody out for up to 6 weeks

England will kick off the Six Nations championship next month without their captain Lewis Moody, who has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. Moody will definitely miss the first two games, against Wales and Italy, and may only be fit for the final two rounds of the tournament – in March.

Read more...

Sunday, 16 January 2011

David Flatman: Man's game? Girl power is here to stay

It was through sheer nepotism – rather than any level of talent or recognition – that I managed to blag an invitation to the Rugby Writers' annual awards dinner last week. It was, as ever, a very enjoyable evening ruined somewhat by the prospect of having to drive back to Bath come midnight, and not hit the free bar with Dallaglio and Co.

Read more...

Wake up to some happy reading!

Bath V Aironi match reports and reaction

Bath Rugby 55, Aironi 16

A five-try first-half blitz propelled Bath Rugby to a resounding win against Pool 4 strugglers Aironi in the penultimate round of the group stages of the Heineken Cup.

Four tries from rampant wing Matt Banahan and two apiece from wing Tom Biggs and skipper Luke Watson gave Bath an eight-tries-to-one victory. Olly Barkley kicked the rest of Bath’s points, slotting six conversions and a penalty.

This is Bath
ESPN
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby ERE
Daily Mail

Match Reaction

Lewis Moody hobbled away from The Rec this evening, but Bath Rugby head coach Steve Meehan is optimistic the England skipper’s knee injury is not serious.

“Lewis twisted his knee in a driven lineout,” explained Meehan following Bath’s eight-try demolition of Aironi. “He’s very confident it’s not anything particularly serious at all

This Is Bath - Moody injury
ECR - Bath on upward curve

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Will Olly Barkley stay at Bath?

Bath Rugby face a battle to keep Olly Barkley as Clermont Auvergne seek to secure the former England star's signature.

The Chronicle understands that the French Top 14 side are in hot pursuit of the 29-year-old back, with the intention of playing him at inside centre and fly-half.

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Friday, 14 January 2011

Bath Rugby team to face Aironi Rugby

Bath Rugby team to face Aironi Rugby

15. Nick Abendanon

14. Matt Banahan

13. Olly Barkley

12. Shontayne Hape

11. Tom Biggs

10. Butch James

9. Michael Claassens

1. David Barnes

2. Pieter Dixon

3. David Wilson

4. Stuart Hooper

5. John van der Giessen

6. Ben Skirving

7. Lewis Moody

8. Luke Watson ( c )

 

Replacements

16. Ross Batty

17. Duncan Bell

18. Aaron Jarvis

19. Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe

20. Josh Ovens

21. Chris Cook

22. Sam Vesty

23. Jack Cuthbert

Bath Rugby leading the race to sign Bristol prop Mako Vunipola

Bath Rugby have confirmed they have made contact with Bristol over the possibility of signing teenage prop Mako Vunipola this summer.

The 19-year-old, who was this week named in England Under-20s’ Six Nations squad, seems certain to leave the Memorial Stadium this summer – with Bath now leading the race for his signature.

 

Bath Rugby leading the race to sign Bristol prop Mako Vunipola

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Hapes blog!

Bath are showing signs that we can turn our season around

By Shontayne Hape, Bath Rugby


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Ben Williams cleared of robbery

Bath Rugby centre Ben Williams was this afternoon cleared of robbery following a night out at a lap dancing club.

The 21-year-old and co-accused Thomas Brown were alleged to have attacked Graham Whistler and taken his wallet. Read more... BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

This Is Bath - Hape keen to stay at Bath and other stories

England centre Shontayne Hape is close to agreeing terms with Bath Rugby on a new deal – and admits that a swift conclusion of negotiations is needed for the sake of his game.

The inside centre is the first to admit that he has been off the boil since returning to The Rec following a successful autumn series with England.

Bluntly, he describes his first two games back in a Bath shirt as his "worst performances" since making the switch from rugby league to union.

 

Under-pressure Hape keen to seal Bath Rugby deal

Barkley and Flatman are so important to Bath culture, says Luke Watson

Haag: Bath Rugby will not field weakened side against Aironi

Lobbe looking to battle on for one more year

Bath Rugby star denies robbing disabled man after night out

Get two Bath Rugby V Aironi tickets for the price of one

TOM BRADSHAW: Financial bottom line cannot be separated from try line

FAN'S VIEW: Will RFU raid The Rec again?

EXCLUSIVE: Springbok Francois Louw in line to replace Luke Watson

Bath Rugby will send a delegation to South Africa later this month as they search for a replacement for Luke Watson, with Springbok flanker Francois Louw understood to be the main target.

A senior management team from Bath, likely to include director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan, will fly to Cape Town to hold talks.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Springbok Francois Louw in line to replace Luke Watson

Wilson closing in on World Cup dream!

Bath Rugby prop Davey Wilson is a veteran of two World Cups, albeit junior versions.

Now he is closing in on a berth in England's senior squad for the 2011 showdown in New Zealand, after being named in Martin Johnson's Elite Player Squad for the Six Nations.

The tighthead specialist, who has played on both sides of the front row for England, is one of a quartet of Bath players named in Johnson's EPS today.

Joining him are current England skipper Lewis Moody, centre Shontayne Hape and outside back Matt Banahan.

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Hape admits dip in form

Bath and England centre Shontayne Hape says he is still searching for his best club form following the Autumn Internationals in November. Read more... BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Sunday, 9 January 2011

David Flatman: I'm riding Tour de France to get fit but still have a mountain to climb

Ah, the life of an injured rugby jock. I remember, many moons ago, actually rather enjoying the bit of time off a freshly broken hand had afforded me. It wasn't that I didn't care about missing games; it was, in fact, because I had played so many. I was a young prop and my body badly needed a rest and, in an almost charitable twist of fate, Steve Thompson's right boot landed heavily on said mitt (by accident, honest guv) and that was that, the crack said it all.

Read more...

Bath V Leeds - match reports and reaction

Match Reports

Bath Rugby 16, Leeds Carnegie 13

In a first half played at a dirge-like 60 beats per minute, it was Nick Abendanon who suddenly sent this game into double time.

Following a turgid, error-ridden opening 40 minutes distinguished by only three penalties and a drop goal, it was a knifing, diagonal run by the Bath wing 50 seconds into the second half that lit the paper under this Aviva Premiership contest.

This Is Bath
Bath Rugby
The Guardian
Daily Mail

Match Reaction

Steve Meehan admits his Bath Rugby side delivered a patchy showing in today’s narrow win over Leeds Carnegie, but was happy to take the four championship points.

“There’s only one thing worse than winning an ugly match and that’s losing it. I’m delighted with the win,” was the Australian’s verdict after Bath ran out 16-13 winners.

This Is Bath - Meehan
The Independent - Key

Bath Rugby in talks with All Black Luke McAlister

All Black Luke McAlister is in talks with Bath, who want him to replace their Springbok stand-off Butch James next season.

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Saturday, 8 January 2011

Fancy a flutter?

Betting from Sky Bet

Bath 1/10
Draw 25/1
Leeds 11/2

Handicap betting - Bath to win by 14 points!?

+14 Bath 10/11
Draw 16/1
-14 Leeds 10/11 BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, 7 January 2011

Bath Rugby team to face Leeds Carnegie

Bath Rugby team to face Leeds Carnegie, The Rec, KO 2.15pm

 

15. Jack Cuthbert
14. Matt Banahan
13. Olly Barkley
12. Shontayne Hape
11. Nick Abendanon
10. Butch James
9. Michael Claassens
1. David Barnes
2. Lee Mears
3. David Wilson
4. Stuart Hooper
5. Danny Grewcock
6. Luke Watson (C)
7. Lewis Moody
8. Simon Taylor

 

Replacements

 

16. Pieter Dixon
17. Duncan Bell
18. Aaron Jarvis
19. Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe
20. Ben Skirving
21. Chris Cook
22. Sam Vesty
23. Matt Carraro

Thursday, 6 January 2011

This Is Bath - Grewcock, Classeens, Watson and Banahan interviews.

At 38, most blokes would regard a midweek jog and a weekend round of golf as quite enough exercise, thank you very much. Not Danny Grewcock.

By rugby standards, the Bath lock forward is something of an old stager. But there he is, two years shy of 40, mixing it up with Courtney Lawes, James Gaskell and other Premiership second row whipper snappers who are young enough – biologically, at least – to be his sons.

 

Grewcock holds back the years

Claassens swayed by loyalty and ambition

Matt's a man on a mission

FAN'S VIEW: Bath Rugby pack's New Year resolution

TOM BRADSHAW: New deal sees Claassens ride to Bath's rescue once again

Bath Rugby losses double as club slips £1.2m into the red

Injury still troubling Watson

Dixon is in no hurry to head home

Victory was perfect cure

 

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bath Rugby PLC results

Bath Rugby plc announces its financial results for year ending 30th June 2010 as loss of £1,259,000 (covering the 2009/2010 playing season)


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No news on Rec consultation exercise yet

The launch of a consultation exercise into the future use of Bath’s Recreation Ground looked to have been delayed today.

The trust which oversees The Rec had been due to unveil an eight-week consultation process yesterday.

But its chairman Councillor Chris Watt has been unavailable for comment, and Bath and North East Somerset Council - which provides it with administrative back-up - says the matter is in his hands.

 

Read more:

http://tiny.cc/9wrq5

Great news - Michael Claassens signs two-year deal

Bath Rugby scrum-half Michael Claassens has put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at The Rec until 2013.

The South African half-back,who captained Bath last season, has signed a two-year deal.

The eight-cap Springbok arrived at the club from the Free State Cheetahs in 2007, and is just three games shy of making his 100th appearances for Bath.

 

Read more:

http://tiny.cc/4kaye

Monday, 3 January 2011

Hook or Geraghty

Bath have spoken to the agent of the Wales centre, James Hook, who is leaving Ospreys at the end of the season because he wants to play at outside-half. "We are not sure what his intentions are," said Meehan. Hook has said he will decide on his future next month, with Perpignan expecting him to sign.

Bath have not yet considered the Northampton outside-half Shane Geraghty, whose career has stalled since he joined from London Irish in the summer of 2009. The England international plays with an abandon that Bath have become renowned for but the victory over Irish was achieved in such a manner that control, rather than daring, may become a prerequisite for James's successor.

Read more...

Flatmans first column of 2011

The rumour of St Helens rugby league half-back Kyle Eastmond mooting a possible code-switch is a fun one. The fact that the club with which he has been unofficially linked is the one I play for is even more fun. Of course, it's not quite so much fun if you don't know who he is but if you ever watch rugby league, you'll know.

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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy reading - Irish V Bath match reports and reaction

Match reports
Despite being outscored three tries to one, Bath Rugby secured their first win of 2011 with a proud and passionate performance to beat London Irish 24-25 at the Madejski Stadium.

Bath Rugby
This Is Bath
The Daily Mail
Sky Sports

Match Reaction
Head coach Steve Meehan could have been forgiven if he felt under the cosh on New Year’s Day as Bath Rugby faced up to another Saturday desperate for a victory.

But, after six penalties from Olly Barkley - including a dramatic last-gasp shot which gave the visitors a breathless 25-24 win at London Irish - the Australian boss and his team felt some of that anxiety lifting.

Meehan - This is Bath
Booth - Sporting Life
Booth - Sky Sports