Saturday, 31 December 2011

Brad Davis: Bath Rugby will handle the pressure against London Irish

Dan Hipkiss, Tom Biggs and Simon Taylor all return as Bath make six changes to the starting line-up for tomorrow’s Aviva Premiership match against London Irish.

Taylor lines up alongside Andy Beattie and captain Francois Louw in the back row for the New Year’s Day clash (1.30pm).


Friday, 30 December 2011

Bath Rugby team to face London Irish

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Matt Carraro
13. Dan Hipkiss
12. Matt Banahan
11. Tom Biggs
10. Stephen Donald
9. Michael Claassens
1. Nathan Catt
2. Ross Batty
3. Anthony Perenise
4. Dave Attwood
5. Ryan Caldwell
6. Andy Beattie
7. Francois Louw (c)
8. Simon Taylor


16. Will Tanner
17. Charlie Beech
18. David Wilson
19. Ben Skirving
20. Guy Mercer
21. Chris Cook
22. Tom Heathcote
23. Kyle Eastmond

Betfair's take on Bath Rugby V Irish..

Bath have been difficult to predict this season, but one aspect of their game that has been consistent is that their defence has been strong and punters can profit from this in their match against London Irish on Sunday.

Although Leinster pulverised Sir Ian McGeechan's side in the Heineken Cup, Bath have resorted to giving away penalties rather than concede seven points. The West Country side have conceded the fewest tries in the league, but an incredible 42 penalty goals in their 11 matches.


Attwood eyes England return

Bath lock Dave Attwood is hoping to resurrect his international career by claiming a place in England's squad for the 2012 Six Nations.


Thursday, 29 December 2011

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby...

Christmas may have been mild but for Bath Rugby the chill continued to spread as they slipped to their fourth consecutive Premiership defeat.

The Christmas Eve clash looked done and dusted by half time after Northampton opened up a 22-3 lead. And although the Saints' halo slipped a little in the second period when they lost two players to the sin bin in quick succession, Bath were unable to pull themselves back into serious contention.

Read them all now...

Kyle Eastmond ready to make Bath Rugby debut

Kyle Eastmond is poised to make his debut for Bath after a frustrating start to his career in the 15-man code.

A groin problem has so far prevented the 22-year-old from playing for his new club since switching from rugby league side St Helens in the autumn.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sir Ian McGeechan sees hope for struggling Bath Rugby

Bath director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan backed his side to come good after their improved second half in the defeat at Franklin’s Gardens.

Bath slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat after George Pisi inspired Saints to a 22-3 lead at the interval.


Monday, 26 December 2011

Craig lends backing to McGeechan

Bath owner Bruce Craig has backed Sir Ian McGeechan to turnaround the West Country side's fortunes.

The blue, black and white are currently languishing tenth in the Aviva Premiership and fell to Northampton 22-13 on Christmas Eve. The result was their seventh defeat in eight games and with their Heineken Cup aspirations gone after their back-to-back defeats to Leinster, Craig - speaking before their loss to the Saints - is adamant that he has full confidence in McGeechan's ability to bring the glory days back to the Recreation Ground.


Sunday, 25 December 2011

Fourth defeat in a row for Bath Rugby as 13-man Northampton hang on

A strange game at Franklin’s Gardens saw Northampton condemn Bath to their fourth consecutive defeat.

The Saints, thanks to a star performance from George Pisi, were in complete control as they opened up a 22-3 lead at the interval.


Friday, 23 December 2011

Geech’s got Bath backing

Fans are furious the former English and European champions are sliding into the drop zone.

And they have expressed increasing criticism of Lions and Scotland legend McGeechan, appointed as rugby director at The Rec by multi-millionaire owner Bruce Craig.


Bath owner Bruce Craig insists rugby calendar must divide into club and international competition time

Bath owner Bruce Craig has warned rugby’s governing bodies that the club game could struggle to survive in its current form unless radical reforms are made to the domestic and international calendars.

Craig, who amassed a £900 million fortune from his pharmaceutical business, fears conflict could erupt between the club and international game if the existing set-up is maintained.


Bath Rugby team to face Northampton Saints

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Matt Carraro
13. Ben Williams
12. Olly Barkley
11. Matt Banahan
10. Stephen Donald
9. Michael Claassens
1. David Flatman
2. Ross Batty
3. David Wilson
4. Dave Attwood
5. Ryan Caldwell
6. Andy Beattie
7. Guy Mercer
8. Francois Louw (c)

16. Will Tanner
17. Nathan Catt
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Will Spencer
20. Josh Ovens
21. Chris Cook
22. Tom Heathcote
23. Jack Cuthbert

Donald wins 'hero of the year' and Bath Rugby almost take 'award'...

Flop of the Year

Manu Tuilagi's belly flop from the ferry could be worth a mention while on the domestic scene it was a disappointing year for Bruce Craig's Bath. The West Country side are now one of the wealthiest sides in England and despite Craig's millions being pumped into the behind-the-scenes side of the club, the blue, black and white are yet to hit the heights of yesteryear. In Super Rugby, the Brumbies endured a woeful campaign while in the Top 14 Biarritz have had a shocking start to the current season.

But the clear winner of this award has to be England for their World Cup campaign. Going into the tournament as the holders of the Six Nations and with a win in Ireland under the belts, Martin Johnson's charges seemed destined to impress in New Zealand. But their campaign was dogged with ill-discipline both on and off the field as England bowed out of the cup with a whimper at the quarter-final stages.

Read more from Scrum...

Bath scrum-half Michael Classens knows club needs to step up to avoid disaster this season

Bath may have the wealthiest owner in British rugby and will soon boast some of the best training facilities in the world but as a club they have always been built on big characters and a bloody minded determination.

Currently 10th in the Premiership, Bath were sent hurtling out of Heineken Cup contention last Saturday when they were crushed 51-27 by Leinster at the Aviva Stadium with the home side virtually 'declaring' on the hour to save further humiliation.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby...

Bath Rugby have had more sobering experiences in recent weeks than the most avid festive party-goer.

And in the fair city famed for its stout, they were handed the most sobering slap around the chops of them all.

The gulf between Bath and Leinster, between Premiership and Pro12, and between the Bath of aspiration and the Bath of reality was laid bare at the cathedral of Irish rugby.

Read them all now...

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Confirmed fixture details for Rounds 5 and 6 in the Heineken Cup

Round 5:
Montpellier Herault v Bath Rugby – Saturday 14th January, 2pm kick off.
Stade Yves du Manoir, Montpellier

Round 6:
Bath Rugby v Glasgow Warriors – Saturday 21st January, 1:30pm kick off.
The Recreation Ground

Acid test for injury-hit Bath after Irish debacle

They are third from bottom of the Premiership, they have just been reduced to 50-odd points' worth of dust by the reigning Heineken Cup champions – their worst defeat, by a mile, in 14 years of European competition – and their second team have won nothing, not even a losing bonus point, all season. One way or another, Bath are in a bad place, as two senior players, the Springbok scrum-half Michael Claassens and the England prop David Wilson, conceded yesterday. Claassens described last weekend's spanking by Leinster in Dublin as "embarrassing", while Wilson settled for "unacceptable".


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Do you agree? Harsh but fair?

A paragraph from the Irish Times:

Admittedly, in all this, Bath were utterly abysmal. So much lateral running, little or no decoy runners or straight runners, or defensive or attacking shape come to think of it, double-skip passes by their, em, World Cup-winning outhalf to props wide out, utterly aimless kicking and glorified spectators at the breakdown, Bath looked (or were made to look) the worst English Premiership team ever to pitch up hereabouts in the Heineken Cup.

Read the whole article here...

Bath United lose out to forceful Gloucester

Bath United were unable to get their first win of the Aviva A league as they fell to a powerful Gloucester side, made up of a host of familiar Aviva Premiership names. Despite a try from Sam Weier and eight points from the boot of Brad Barnes, Gloucester emerged victorious having scored five forward orientated tries. Final Score 13-36.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bath captain Francois Louw ready for inevitable inquest after Leinster humbling

Captain Francois Louw knows Bath must go back to the drawing board in the wake of this record defeat at the hands of Leinster.

For the first time in their prestigious history in this competition, Bath conceded 50 points and seven tries in their biggest losing margin in the Heineken Cup. There were mitigating circumstances that Bath will cling to as the dust settles from their demolition in Dublin.


We were off the pace, admits Bath Rugby coach Brad Davis

First-team coach Brad Davis bemoaned an under-par defence and poor decision-making after Bath Rugby were dismantled in Dublin by Heineken Cup champions Leinster.

Davis took his hat off to Leinster's attacking flair as the province took a stranglehold on Pool 3.

Bath, meanwhile, are dead and buried in this year's competition. After this evening's 52-27 thumping they sit bottom of their group, tied on six points with Montpellier but with an inferior points difference.


Bath Rugby taught a European masterclass in Dublin by champs Leinster

Leinster 52, Bath Rugby 27

Bath Rugby's Heineken Cup hopes were reduced to dust as they were steam-rollered by a ruthlessly brilliant Leinster.

The reigning cup holders showed just why they are the champions of Europe with a seven-try demolition of their English opposition in front of 46, 365 supporters at the Aviva Stadium.


Saturday, 17 December 2011

Leinster's finished article is at hand

EARLIER THIS week Leinster captain Leo Cullen concluded that at least Leinster were creating opportunities to score tries, even if they were not finishing them. If inaccuracy was a problem at The Rec, the flip side was that the most difficult part of the equation was sound enough.


Friday, 16 December 2011

Bath Rugby team to face Leinster

15 Sam Vesty

14 Jack Cuthbert

13 Matt Banahan

12 Olly Barkley

11 Nick Abendanon

10 Stephen Donald

9 Michael Claassens

1 David Flatman

2 Chris Biller

3 David Wilson

4 Dave Attwood

5 Ryan Caldwell

6 Francois Louw (c)

7 Guy Mercer

8 Simon Taylor




16 Ross Batty

17 Nathan Catt

18 Anthony Perenise

19 Will Spencer

20 Andy Beattie

21 Chris Cook

22 Tom Heathcote

23 Ben Williams

Leinster v Bath preview, team news & odds

It has been billed as a ‘Christmas cracker’ and both Leinster and Bath will be trying to live up to that billing when the two sides meet at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday evening in the pool stages of the Heineken Cup, kick off 6.00pm.

Despite last weekend’s five point win in Bath, Joe Schmidt knows that his side could and should have won by more. A number of clear cut chances from the likes of Sean O’Brien and Rob Kearney were not converted at The Rech which left the defending champions holding on at times during the eighty minutes.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Bath join race to sign Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins

BATH have joined the race to sign unsettled Blues and Wales prop Gethin Jenkins.

The Lions Test loosehead is out of contract with the capital city region at the end of the season and talks over a deal for him to stay are understood to have stalled.


This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby...

The sands of expectation are a constantly shifting feature on the sporting landscape. What supporters expect can dramatically erode from one season – or indeed one month – to the next.

There are some constants. For reasons attributable only to collective hysteria, for example, every four years the English public expects to see its national side lift football's World Cup. This is a hopeless, cyclical act of illusion triumphing over reality.


Higher Expectations a Sign of Progress
Depleted Bath Go With the F-Louw
Cup Upset is Not Beyond Us - Attwood
Bath Lack Fear Factor - Brian Moore
MMM: Seeking Swift Revenge
Bath Licking Lips Rather Than Wounds
Craig Calling for New World Club Competition
Almighty Task in Store
Letter from CC!
Attwood is Star Guest
Mike Catt: Wilkinson Has Left a Fabulous Legacy

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sir Ian McGeechan rejects advances from the Rugby Football Union over England coaching job

Sir Ian McGeechan, the Bath director of rugby, is understood to have been one of three Premiership coaches who have been asked whether they would be interested in applying for the England head coach job.

Telegraph Sport understands that McGeechan, the former Scotland head coach, was sounded out about position two weeks ago, before Stuart Lancaster was appointed as interim head coach for the Six Nations. But the former Lions coach declined and reiterated his commitment to Bath, where his current contract runs until 2013.


Lewis Moody reveals fight against illness suffered by Darren Fletcher

The former England rugby union captain Lewis Moody has written about his experience fighting the same "demeaning" illness that has forced Manchester United's Darren Fletcher to take a break from football.

Fletcher is taking what United have described as an "extended break" after doctors warned him he was putting his health at serious risk by continuing to play despite the rare bowel condition ulcerative colitis, which has affected him for the past year.


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Record crowd for Leinster V Bath Rugby pool game expected

FORGET THE 12 pubs of Christmas lark, there is a far more enticing soiree at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday. Leinster entertain Bath at 6pm and with ticket sales already tipping over the 43,000 mark a record attendance for a European pool game in Ireland is expected.

This weekend last year 44,873 showed up as Leinster over-ran Clermont Auvergne. This figure would have been greater only for the minus 12 degree cold snap restricted many supporters who had purchased tickets from travelling to Dublin.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

McGeechan upbeat despite defeat

Sir Ian McGeechan praised his players despite Bath suffering a Heineken Cup home defeat against holders Leinster that has left them facing an early European exit.


Resurgent Bath Rugby edged out by Leinster

Bath Rugby 13, Leinster 18

Bath Rugby's hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup are hanging by a thread after they were edged out 13-18 by Leinster in a pulsating clash at The Rec.


Bath Rugby's Heineken Cup pool update

Pool 3

Leinster's only problem is that they know they are going to win

Deep down I think Leinster know they are going to win this game and win it easily. This fact, rather than the best XV Bath can muster, will be the greatest impediment to victory.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Bath's Olly Barkley emerges from dark times hoping to inspire victory over Leinster in Heineken Cup

The manicured 140 acres, the landscaped gardens, the 17th century restored manor house, the hi-tech 3G pitch, the purpose-built gymnasium, Bath’s sumptuous headquarters at Farleigh House seemingly has it all, save for one thing: the kick-up-the-backside facility.

The millions invested by owner Bruce Craig allied to the shrewd input of Sir Ian McGeechan have yet to bring tangible yield.

Read now...

Friday, 9 December 2011

Caldwell eager for international return

Irish lock Ryan Caldwell is desperate to reignite his international career in time for the RBS 6 Nations after his summer move to Bath.

The former Ulsterman, whose disciplinary record often held him back in Belfast, signed for Bath in February and his form for Ian McGeechan’s outfit, coupled with Ireland’s aging second row, has given the 27-year-old fresh impetus.


Bath Rugby team to face Leinster

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Jack Cuthbert
13. Dan Hipkiss
12. Olly Barkley
11. Matt Banahan
10. Stephen Donald
9. Michael Claassens
1. David Flatman
2. Chris Biller
3. David Wilson
4. Dave Attwood
5. Ryan Caldwell
6. Francois Louw (c)
7. Guy Mercer
8. Simon Taylor
16. Charlie Beech
17. Nathan Catt
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Will Spencer
20. Andy Beattie
21. Chris Cook
22. Tom Heathcote
23. Sam Vesty

Thursday, 8 December 2011

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby...

The thoroughbred of European rugby that is Leinster will come hurtling into Bath this week, foaming at the mouth, quivering with anticipation and in a rich vein of form.

Up against it is an English nag which, for all its fancy silks and grand stables, has so far this season done nothing but deliver a plodding mediocrity that – even to the most die-hard follower – has indicated an incipient lameness.

Read all the articles now...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bath Rugby's Lewis Moody faces three months out after shoulder surgery

Bath Rugby's injury woes have been added to by the news that Lewis Moody will be out of action for the next 10-12 weeks.

The former England captain has undergone shoulder surgery after suffering the injury in Bath's defeat at Worcester Warriors a fortnight ago.


Bath struggle to rekindle spirit of past glories

Once they were kings. Now they're just pantomime queens.
Bath rugby club held their seasonal pantomime last Sunday, a day after their vital Premiership clash at home to Sale Sharks.

Unfortunately, someone somewhere got the dates mixed up. Saturday's dismal defeat, when they conspired to blow a 10-point half-time lead, was as farcical as any panto plot.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

VitaMan crowns Man of Movember at Awards Party with Bath Rugby

VitaMan celebrated the end of Movember with the VitaMo Awards. Held at Bath Rugby Club, winners of each category were selected by a panel of judges including Bath Rugby players Dave Flatman and Carl Fearns.

This was a chance for Mo-growing Bath Rugby players and fellow Mo Bros and Sistas to come together and celebrate their fundraising achievement (over £10,000). Thanks go to Novia Financial for its support on the night with a great team effort in fundraising and providing the entertainment – The Johnny Cash Tribute Act.

Dave Flatman and Carl Fearns held a Q+A session during the Awards evening fielding questions that varied from men’s health, moustaches to rugby rules.

Everyone enjoyed the fun, feasting on curry and a pint to celebrate VitaMan’s work with Bath Rugby during Movember. Mo-themed curry dishes included: Beef Mo-dras, Chicken Tikka Mo-sala and SaMo-sas.

The VitaMo Award winners are as follows:
VitaMo Man of Movember – Tom Hall
VitaMo Lame Mo – Ben Tobbold
VitaMo Outstanding Contribution Award – Gwyn Randolf

Monday, 5 December 2011

Bath Rugby vow to work out how to win again after Sale defeat

First-team coach Brad Davis was at a loss to explain his side’s dismal second-half showing as Bath went down to a home defeat against Sale.

The hosts seemed to be in total control after a fluent first 40 minutes saw them start the second period with a 10-0 lead.


Bath United team to face Saracens Storm tonight...

15. Jamie John Kilmartin
14. Nick Scott
13. Ben Mosses
12. Ben Williams
11. Richard Lane
10. Paul Roberts
9. Matt Keyte
1. Mark Lilley (Capt)
2. Max Anderson
3. Duncan Bell
4. Nick Morris
5. Jamie Collins
6. Sam Weier
7. James Stephenson
8. James Tyas

16. Jake Fields
17. Max Ashcroft
18. Sam Lewis
19. Max Wilson
20. Tom Ellis
21. Will Clemesha
22. Alex Brown
23. Freddie Gabbitass.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sale wing Mark Cueto faces possible citing charge after try-saving tackle on Bath's Tom Heathcote

Sale wing Mark Cueto faces an anxious wait to discover whether he will be cited for a tackle on Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote which helped clinch Sale’s second away league win in 14 months.

Cueto, who played at full-back on Saturday, and Heathcote clattered into each other at full pelt as Bath launched a desperate final attack to salvage something from a game they had tossed away with an insipid second-half performance.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Davis: Display below Bath standards

Bath coach Brad Davis accepts that the club face a huge challenge at home to Heineken Cup champions Leinster next week after a dispiriting 16-13 defeat at home to Sale.


Bath sink against Sharks

Bath failed to overcome the Sharks at the Recreation Ground as they squandered a 10-0 half-time lead on Saturday to lose 16-13.


Friday, 2 December 2011

Bath Rugby team to face Sale Sharks

15. Jack Cuthbert
14. Olly Woodburn
13. Matt Banahan
12. Olly Barkley
11. Nick Abendanon
10. Tom Heathcote
9. Michael Claassens
1. David Flatman
2. Will Tanner
3. David Wilson
4. Stuart Hooper (c)
5. Ryan Caldwell
6. Josh Ovens
7. Guy Mercer
8. Simon Taylor

16. Chris Biller
17. Charlie Beech
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Dave Attwood
20. James Tyas
21. Chris Cook
22. Dan Hipkiss
23. Sam Vesty

Palma-Newport's loan switch

Leeds have been looking to strengthen their front-row options after Phil Swainston ruled out for four months.

And the 21-year-old Palma-Newport, who has made nine Premiership appearances for Bath, will go straight into the Carnegie squad for Sunday's Championship clash at table-topping Bristol.

Leeds coach Diccon Edwards said: "We are very grateful to Bath for allowing Kane to join us on loan. He will benefit from playing in the Championship with us.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby...

First-team coach Martin Haag says Bath are in the grip of a "huge injury crisis".

However, he is refusing to use Bath's injury woes as an excuse and is demanding an improvement in attitude and performance following Friday night's no-show at Sixways.

Winger Tom Biggs broke his hand in the loss at Worcester, adding to a mounting list of backs sidelined by injury.

He joins Matt Carraro (thumb), Ben Williams (shoulder) and Matt Banahan (quadricep) on the sidelines.



Fans View: Mysterious Inconsistency Plagues Bath
Tindall: RFU Made Me a Scapegoat
Bath Must Cope With Injury Crisis - Haag
Combination Invitation for New Side Following Talks to Clear Air
Letters From Stephen Marks & W Williams
Natives are Restless But Club is Still in the Mix
No Excuses After Horror Show at Sixways
Barkley Still Waiting to Regain Match Sharpness