Monday, 30 May 2011
Saturday, 28 May 2011
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.
Friday, 27 May 2011
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
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
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.
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
Sunday, 22 May 2011
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
The Chronicle can reveal that Bath will play the southern hemisphere's newest Super Rugby franchise on Friday, August 12.
Thursday, 19 May 2011
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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."
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 BathRugby.com:
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
Friday, 13 May 2011
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
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.
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.
Then, in a freak collision with a teammate, he broke his leg in two places and his career hung in the balance.
LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Olly Barkley: Broken Dreams
7.30pm, Mon, Sky Sports News HD
Watch online with Sky Player
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.realfriendsoftherec.co.uk/consultation.
Twenty20 CRICKET AT THE REC
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 RFOTR AGM
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 email@example.com
Do your bit and click here NOW
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
England's tournament kicks-off against Ireland on the 10th June, followed by games against Scotland and South Africa.
Monday, 9 May 2011
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.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
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.
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
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
With qualification for the play-offs still a possibility for Bath Rugby, the team will be coming out all guns blazing as they host Newcastle Falcons at the Recreation Ground for the final home game of the season on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
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
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.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
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.
Bath Urged to Focus on Victory
Dixon Aims to give Departing Duo Good Send-off
McGeechan Takes Long Term View on Signings
Club Stands by Injured Hobson
O/T Malco Takes up Anti-cycling Stance (in the comments)
Honours Shared as Rec Plays Host to Mini Fest
Fans View: Strange Goings on at Kingston Park
Peter Short: Time to Pay Tribute to Model Pro
Tom Bradshaw: Scott Should Take Heart from Legend
Bath and Bristol Fans Do Battle for Charity
Letters from Andrews, Easterbrook,Peter Downey, McGarrigle and Cottle
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Sunday, 1 May 2011
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.