Monday, 30 May 2011

Bath's Winning Percentage Stats - from ERE

It's always interesting to look at a few statistics, especially when trends are involved and so I've updated, for the first time in a couple of years, Bath's winning percentage. Judging by the numbers, BC and SIM have some work to do.


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bath Rugby gain right to compete with French for 'marquee' talent

The richest clubs in English rugby – Leicester, Saracens, Bath and Northampton – have not succeeded in freeing themselves from their economic chains by abolishing the salary cap, despite a determined attempt to turn the Premiership into a paradise for free-market fundamentalists. They have not even managed to raise the cap to a level where they might match the spending power of the French. The Big Four are celebrating one victory, however, and it could have a major impact.

From the end of next season, each of the 12 elite teams will be able to employ one player over and above the salary cap of £4.26m – a significant move in favour of those clubs able and willing to splash a serious amount of cash. If, for instance, Bath persuade the stellar All Black outside-half Dan Carter to take a sabbatical from New Zealand rugby and play a season at the Recreation Ground in return for a wage of the seven-figure variety, there will be nothing to stop them completing the deal.

Read more....

Friday, 27 May 2011

Banahan to start against Barbarians

Matt Banahan will pull on the No. 12 shirt for England this Sunday as they face the Barbarians at Twickenham, kick-off 2.30pm.

In what will be his first start at inside centre for England, Banahan will line up alongside debutant Henry Trinder in the centre, in an experienced backline that also includes James Simpson-Daniel, Ugo Monye and Mike Brown.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Claassens scoops Try of the Year award

Congratulations to Michael Claassens who was last night awarded The Sunday Times Try of the Year at the Computacentre RPA Awards Dinner.
Voted for by fans of the game, Michael's try against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday 9th April, which included a 40m sprint from Nathan Catt to set the try up, was chosen as the best try of the season, beating off efforts from Schalk Brits, Sireli Naqelevuki and Ugo Monye.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Attwood eyes England return

England hopeful Dave Attwood knows he needs to prove himself quickly after suspension saw him miss out on the RBS Six Nations and hinder his World Cup ambitions.

The Gloucester lock is heading to Bath for next season, but for now is concentrating on his international career as he returns to England's line-up against the Barbarians on Sunday.


New board of Recreation Ground trustees appointed

​A new team of councillors has been appointed to oversee Bath's Recreation Ground.

The three-strong Board of the Recreation Ground Trust has the job of ensuring that the city centre land is used in accordance with charity law.

An eight-week consultation exercise into the idea of giving Bath Rugby a bigger footprint at the site was launched in April - before this month's elections which led to a new Liberal Democrat administration being established at the Guildhall.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Banahan picked to face Barbarians

Bath Rugby's top try scorer of the 2010/11 season, Matt Banahan, has been named in the England squad to face the Barbarians this Sunday at Twickenham (2.30pm).


Sunday, 22 May 2011

We don't want him! Bath players blocked move for troubled Cipriani

Danny Cipriani's hopes of a return to the Aviva Premiership with Bath have been dashed after a sensational snub by some of the club's top players.

Bath confirmed last week that they had turned down an option to sign the troubled England No 10 and it has now been revealed that two senior players at the Recreation Ground sabotaged the move.

Instead, Bath are close to agreeing terms with New Zealand fly-half Stephen Donald, the accomplished second choice to All Blacks ace Dan Carter.

Cipriani is keen to return to England with his future at Melbourne Rebels under a cloud and Bath were thought to be interested as they search for a replacement for Butch James.
But it is believed that the two Bath stars made it clear to the club's director of rugby, Ian McGeechan, that the signing of the controversial Cipriani would have an unsettling effect on the dressing room and that seemed to kill the switch stone dead.


Friday, 20 May 2011

A date for your diary...

The Rec will host an historic moment in world rugby in August when Super 15 side Melbourne Rebels play a friendly against Bath.

The Chronicle can reveal that Bath will play the southern hemisphere's newest Super Rugby franchise on Friday, August 12.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Bath confirm Danny Cipriani approach over move

Controversial fly-half Danny Cipriani is interested in returning to England to join Bath, according to the club.

The 23-year-old has a year left to run on his deal at Super 15 side Melbourne Rebels, but a series of off-field issues have cast doubt over his future.

He is currently serving an internal suspension for breaching a curfew.


Bath Rugby continues progress at Farleigh House

The season might have reached an end, but it's all go at Bath Rugby's training facility at Farleigh House.4Share

The Club has secured planning and listed building consent for the next stage of our development and work has now started on extending and adapting former outbuildings to provide a new gym, changing facilities, medical centre and rehab areas.

This Weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

Danny Cipriani has approached Bath Rugby with the aim of resurrecting his career at The Rec.
The 23-year-old England international has had a rocky ride since joining the Melbourne Rebels for this year's Super 15 competition.
He is currently suspended from the club's squad after breaching a team agreement not to stay out late following a match.
Cipriani has a two-year deal with the Australian side but has contacted Bath with a view to returning to the Premiership before that contract expires.

Read more from This Is Bath...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Is Stephen Donald on his way to Bath for next season?

Over the last month there has been a good deal of speculation about the identity of the fly half that Bath intend to sign to replace Butch James. With reports linking Dan Carter and Frederic Michalak to the club, there is clearly an expectation that a player with international experience will be gracing the Rec next season.

Just last week the Bath CEO, Nick Blofeld indicated that they were "very close" to a signing and while the main man, Carter, is out of reach, it looks increasingly likely that his deputy in the All Blacks squad, Stephen Donald, will be on his way to the West Country, with the indication that talks are at an advanced stage.


Cipriani to sign for Bath Rugby!?

DANNY CIPRIANI could be set for a reunion with his former Wasps boss Ian McGeechan at Bath.
The former England fly-half, 23, has been frozen out by Aussie side Melbourne Rebels after breaking club rules THREE times.
McGeechan is losing South Africa No 10 Butch James this summer and a Bath insider admitted: "Cipriani is a possibility."


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Morne Steyn rules out switch to Bath Rugby to replace Butch James

Springbok Morne Steyn has publicly ruled out a move to Bath Rugby.

There was speculation on the internet this morning that the fly-half would quit Pretoria-based side the Blue Bulls midway through a three-year deal and head to The Rec.

But Steyn this afternoon dismissed the claim out of hand on his Twitter page.

"Hear things that I go to Bath, just want to say I've not spoken with anyone," he tweeted. "I'm still with the Bulls until 2013. God Bless."


Bath Rugby needs you - Images of plans for The Rec

As you are all hopefully aware, the Bath Recreation Ground Trust are currently holding a consultation on the future of the Rec, and we need your help in making sure that Bath Rugby stay here.


Below are two images laying out Bath Rugby's planned expansion...




Above - Recreation Ground Trust Existing Layout



Above: Recreation Ground Trust Proposed Layout



Read more from 



Last chance to vote for Claassens

Bath Rugby's Michael Claassens has been nominated for The Sunday Times Try of the Year 2011 at The RPA Computacenter Awards and this is your last chance to give him your vote!

The try in focus was his try against Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday 9th April at the Rec. The try was created by a turnover in Bath territory, with Claassens shipping the ball out, and Nathan Catt sprinting 40m up the middle of the pitch, to pop the ball back to Claassens, who ran the try in.


Read more and vote for Claassens:

Monday, 16 May 2011

Tyas selected for Scotland U20 squad

Bath Rugby Academy back row James Tyas has been named in the Scotland U20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championships in June.


Read more:

Friday, 13 May 2011

McGeechan wants 14-team Premiership & relegation freeze

Bath director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan has backed a move to a 14-team Premiership and a five-year freeze on relegation "for the good of rugby".

The former Lions coach believes a new format incorporating Worcester and Bristol to the top tier would create long-term stability for the game.


Watch the interview now:

Thursday, 12 May 2011

OJO'S INSIDE LINE: McGeechan facing tough search for the perfect 10

HAVING qualified for the Heineken Cup, Bath finished their season on a high with their win against Newcastle on Saturday and it looks like there are exciting times ahead.

Yes they are losing a number of players now, but there will be some new faces in over the summer, as well as those already confirmed.


Meehan rules out Leeds role

Former Bath coach Steve Meehan is not interested in taking over from Neil Back at Leeds Carnegie, he has confirmed.


This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

It may have been a season without silverware but a sense of reinvigoration nevertheless pervades Bath Rugby.

Their end-of-season winning run was studded with thumping wins – the 43-10 swatting of Wasps, the 42-12 clipping of the Falcons – but, equally importantly, there were the hard- fought, nip-and-tuck victories.

The four-point win at The Rec over an increasingly potent Harlequins side showed tremendous defensive spirit, while the pack's grit secured the three-point win at Newcastle.

Earlier in the season, it was similarly tight games which Bath weren't winning, even with the help of home support.


Read more:

Olly Barkley: Broken Dreams

Ten weeks ago, Bath centre Olly Barkley was back in the mix for an England call-up and in the form of his life.

Then, in a freak collision with a teammate, he broke his leg in two places and his career hung in the balance.

Olly Barkley: Broken Dreams
7.30pm, Mon, Sky Sports News HD
Watch online with Sky Player


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Cuthbert selected for Scotland World Cup squad

Congratulations to Jack Cuthbert, who has been selected in the 40-man Scotland squad for the IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand this autumn.


Rec consultation update - from Real Friends Of The Rec (09/05/11)

We understand that the Rec consultation is getting a growing level of participation with the number of responses now in the 1000's. There is still over a month to run before the consultation closes so it would be great to get the number of responses up to the 10,000 level!

The letters page of the Bath Chronicle is (as ever!) a forum for both those supporting the consultation proposal and those who are against any redevelopment of the Rec and against Bath Rugby having a presence at the Rec. The latest letters page include a letter in support from the Chairman of the RFOTR: 'The Real Friends of the Rec were delighted to see your exclusive with Bath Rugby's new owner Bruce Craig outlining his vision for the new arena for The Rec. His "overriding feeling that something significant should be done for the city" is fantastic. The acceptance of a three-sided development is so in keeping with Bath's heritage, as is an arena/amphitheatre to reflect our Roman and crescent to reflect our Georgian heritage....'. So that the opinion of those supporting the consultation proposal is heard we encourage members to write their own letters to the Bath Chronicle to express their support. The email address is

Don't forget to respond to the Rec consultation by Friday 10th June 2011 and to support our '10x Initiative' by getting 10 more people to respond as well as yourself. Read our 'Brief Explanation of the Rec Consultation' for a simple explanation of the Rec proposal and how to respond online. Follow all the news about the consultation at


On July 4th Somerset CCC will playing a Twenty20 match against Essex at the Rec. This is the first ever Somerset CCC Twenty20 match to be staged at Bath. It's an evening game on a Monday (5.30pm start). Juniors are only £3, and Adults are £5 off if purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased online at the Somerset CCC online sales site.


The Real Friends of the Rec AGM take place on Tues 31st May 2011 at 7:30pm and the venue is The Bath Golf Club. All members of the RFOTR are invited. More details and agenda will follow later.


You can contact the Executive Committee via email at

Do your bit and click here NOW

'The winner is....' Bath Rugby end of season awards

This years Bath Rugby awards were held last night at the Pavilion last night and the winners were...

Winner of Community Player of the Year, sponsored by Zenith Logistics Group, - Ben Skirving

Winner of Lin Arnold Memorial Cup for the Spirit of Rugby, sponsored by Thrings Solicitors, - Scott Hobson

Winner of Ted Arnold Memorial Award for the Top Try Scorer, sponsored BMI Bath Clinic, - Matt Banahan

Winner of Alec Lewis Trophy for Most Improved Player, sponsored by Polamco, - Ben Skirving

Winner of the Bloopers Award (I'm sure it'll be available on BRTV soon), sponsored by Orchid, - Pieter "he was dead already" Dixon

Winner of Try of the Season Award, sponsored by Getronics, - Matt Banahan (Bath vs Ulster)

Winner of the Best Forward Award, sponsored by The Baines Family, - Simon Taylor

Winner of the Best Back Award, sponsored by Wadworths 6X, - Nick Abendanon

Winner of the Andy Robinson Award for Players' Player of the Year, sponsored by IPL, - Nick '3rd year in a row' Abendanon

Chris Cook named in England U20's squad

Congratulations to Chris Cook, who has been named in the 26 man England U20 squad for the Junior World Cup this summer in Italy. Share

England's tournament kicks-off against Ireland on the 10th June, followed by games against Scotland and South Africa.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Vote Claassens for The Sunday Times Try of the Year!

Michael Claassens has been nominated for The Sunday Times Try of the Year 2011 at The RPA Computacenter Awards, for his try at the Recreation Ground against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday 9th April, and he needs your vote!



The try was created by a turnover in Bath territory, with Claassens shipping the ball out, and Nathan Catt sprinting 40m up the middle of the pitch, to pop the ball back to Claassens, who ran the try in.


Vote now:

Sunday, 8 May 2011

James rushed into struggling Lions squad

The initial plan was to give him a run during the second week on tour after saying his farewells at English Premiership club Bath, but World Cup-winning flyhalf Butch James will now have two training sessions before making his first Super Rugby appearance for the Lions.


Bath Rugby finish season on a high - Match report and reaction

Bath Rugby 42, Newcastle Falcons 12

​Bath Rugby ran riot against Newcastle Falcons in their final game of the season - but missed out on a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs by a single championship point.

Bath picked up a bonus point win at The Rec as they ran in five tries against a Newcastle side which was blown away by a first-half blitz.

But despite Bath's grand finale in front of a sell-out crowd, Northampton Saints' narrow 31-24 win over Leeds Carnegie meant Bath lost out on the fourth play-off spot to their rivals from the East Midlands.


Match reaction

Steve Meehan says he leaves Bath Rugby in a better state than when he first arrived five years ago - and expects them to lift the Premiership trophy soon.

The head coach leaves Bath on a high after today's 42-12 thumping of Newcastle Falcons. But Bath missed out on the play offs for the first time in four seasons after Northampton squeezed home against Leeds Carnegie, who are relegated.

"The club is in a better position now than when I arrived," said Meehan, whose brand of running rugby won Bath the European Challenge Cup in 2008. "We are playing better rugby. We're respected around the Premiership now.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Claassens makes shortlist for try of the season!

Bath's South African scrumhalf Michael Claassens' try versus Exeter Chiefs as he capitalised on superb work by marauding prop Nathan Catt.

The shortlist
Schalk Brits (Saracens) - Saracens v Gloucester, April 24
Michael Claassens (Bath) - Bath v Exeter, April 9
Ugo Monye (Harlequins) - Harlequins v Gloucester, March 26
Sireli Naqelevuki (Exeter Chiefs) - Exeter v Northampton, March 6
Nicky Robinson (Gloucester) - Bath v Gloucester, October 1
Alesana Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) - Leicester Tigers v Gloucester, April 16


Bath Rugby team to face Newcastle


Bath Rugby team to face Newcastle Falcons

15. Sam Vesty
14. Tom Biggs
13. Matt Carraro
12. Matt Banahan
11. Nick Abendanon
10. Butch James
9. Michael Claassens ( C )
1. David Flatman
2. Lee Mears
3. Mark Lilley
4. Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe
5. Danny Grewcock
6. Ben Skirving
7. Lewis Moody
8. Simon Taylor



16. Pieter Dixon
17. Nathan Catt
18. Kane Palma-Newport
19. Luke Watson
20. Guy Mercer
21. Mark McMillan
22. Ben Williams
23. Jacques Boussuge

Bath back Matt Banahan is hoping he will have double reason to celebrate on Saturday.


Having seen his wife give birth to his first son Joseph on Sunday, Banahan will be out to put in a barnstorming performance against Newcastle in the final game of the regular season.


Bath need a bonus-point win and for Northampton to slip up against Leeds if they are to gatecrash the play-offs for a second successive season.


Read more:

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Jeremy Guscott's Premiership predictions - Bath V Newcastle

This game could have an effect on both ends of the table, with Newcastle still far from safe from relegation and Bath in with a shout - just about - of making the top four to reach the play-off semi-finals.
It should follow pretty much the same path as last weekend, when Bath edged to a 14-11 win in Newcastle, but with Bath scoring more points on their home turf.
Newcastle go into the game one point and one place above bottom side Leeds, so they will be keen to secure victory to put relegation to bed.
They managed to get a losing bonus point last Saturday but they will find it harder than they did last week to come away with anything from the Rec.
Bath have 57 points, four behind Northampton and five behind Gloucester, so a big win on Saturday and defeat for either of the other two would really put the cat among the pigeons.
It is also the last game for the likes of Butch James, Luke Watson and Shontayne Hape, as well as head coach Steve Meehan, so Bath will want to put on a show.

Verdict: Bath to win with a try bonus point.

Other predictions...

PODCAST – Grewcock bows out at the top

Danny Grewcock brings down the curtain on an illustrious career this weekend when he's due to make his 221st appearance for Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership against Newcastle Falcons before retiring from the game at the age of 38.

Listen now...

Thursday's Chonicle articles on Bath Rugby

Sir Ian McGeechan says retiring lock forward Danny Grewcock will continue to be "gold dust" for Bath Rugby, long after he has played his final game.The 38-year-old England and British Lions legend will make his final appearance at The Rec on Saturday, bringing the curtain down on a decade playing for Bath.But Grewcock will remain at the club next season to mentor young players and help run its academy.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bath lock Danny Grewcock focused on final outing

Bath and former England lock Danny Grewcock says he has given no thought to the personal significance of Saturday's game against Newcastle.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Slim win keeps Bath Rugby's play-off hopes alive

Newcastle Falcons 11, Bath Rugby 14

And so it will go down to the final day of the season. Bath Rugby’s performance against Newcastle may have been uninspiring by the standards of the previous week’s triumph at Twickenham, but it was enough to give them four vital championship points.

This fourth win on the spin for Bath means that Heineken Cup rugby next season is guaranteed. And it also means that should Gloucester or Northampton slip up on Saturday, then Bath are breathing down their necks to pinch the last play-off spot in the Aviva Premiership.