Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tom Bradshaw: Bath Rugby boss Gold's move for Agulla is shrewd

The last time Horacio Agulla was seen near a blue, black and white shirt, he was scoring a try against Bath on the final day of Leicester's regular season.

Confirmation this week that Agulla has penned a deal with Bath Rugby means that the winger is treading what's becoming a well-worn path from the Tigers to The Rec. First, Lewis Moody and Sam Vesty left Leicester to join Bath ahead of the 2010-11 campaign. A year later, Dan Hipkiss followed in their tracks.

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Thursday, 28 June 2012

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

Gary Gold says he has no qualms about new signing Horacio Agulla being away with Argentina for three months of the season.

The former Leicester Tigers winger was this week confirmed as Bath Rugby's latest signing, and Bath head coach Gold believes Agulla's absence with the Pumas will make him a better player.

Read the articles now...

Bath Rugby's Lee Mears calls time on England career

Bath Rugby hooker Lee Mears has announced his retirement from international rugby.

Both the 33-year-old and Saracens fly-half Charlie Hodgson have decided in conjunction with England head coach Stuart Lancaster that they will not be considered for selection for the Elite Player Squads next month.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Claassens and Day chat pre-season with BRtv - video

Inbetween training sessions BRtv managed to grab a bit of time with Michael Claassens and Dominic Day to find out their expectations for pre-season.

Bath Rugby coach Toby Booth looking forward to Matt Banahan reunion

New Bath Rugby coach Toby Booth is looking forward to being reunited with Matt Banahan at The Rec next season.

The 25-year-old lined up in the back row under Booth for the London Irish academy side before going on to establish himself in the backs for Bath – his ability to play at wing and centre earning him a place in England’s 2011 World Cup squad.

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Bath Rugby: New signing Horacio Agulla will be an asset, says Gary Gold

Bath have signed Argentina wing Horacio Agulla from Leicester in the belief the benefits of his international commitments will outweigh his lengthy absences.

Argentina’s inclusion in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, which finishes in October, and the Pumas’ three November internationals means Agulla will not be available to Bath full-time until December.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Can this Tiger bite back?

The news that Agulla has signed from Leicester Tigers brings the question -can this Tiger live up to the hope and expectations rather than the disappointment of the other ex-Tigers? It is safe to say that the trio of Tigers players who were drafted in over the last couple of years failed to live up to the hype and expectations and led to a sense of disappointment. The signing of Moody, Vesty and Hipkiss came with so much hope that they could help strengthen the squad returning Bath back to the dominant force then once were, unfortunately as we are all too aware this failed to live up to its billing I do not doubt the calibre of the trio of Tigers ex-pats, they do not get the accolades and respect for nothing. The feeling amongst The Bath Rugby Fans was that they were no longer required by Tigers as opposed to 'looking for a new Challenge'. For Bath to snare the captain of England and to see him pull on the Blue, Black and White jersey was for some a monumental signing. Lewis Moody a huge stalwart in The England team, a World cup winner and now captaining his country, is a man who is passionate about the game and shows it with the way he throws his self into the game playing with 100% commitment. Sadly it seemed Tigers were being quite savvy by cutting Moody loose, due to his passion and commitment he’d become prone to injury as Bath soon discovered. In the little under two years he spent in the Bath colours he only managed to muster up 15 appearances and managed to score a try in one of those fixtures. By the time he arrived at the Rec his body had taken so much punishment that it was only a matter of time before it could do no more. He will always be a true hero and inspiration on and off the field to so many, old or young. A sad occasion when he had to hang up his boots and a travesty we never saw the 'true' Lewis Moody perform at the Rec! Following Moody down from Welford road was Sam Vesty, both starting at the beginning of the 2010/11 season. There was much surprise and trepidation to Vesty's move as he has what you consider to have Tiger blood running through his veins. A fourth generation Tiger following his father's, grandfather's and great grandfather's footsteps, working his way up through the ranks from academy to the first 15. Vesty also holds a handful of English caps to his name, but with the introduction of Toby Flood he soon began to slip down the pecking order. So for first team rugby becoming harder to obtain an option to join Moody in the move seemed a wise choice. While at the Rec so far it’s fair to say he has had quite an indifferent time. Saving Bath's blushes on several occasions with boot and tries, but has not had a regular run and struggled with form. Fighting for a place and kicking duties with the likes of of Barkley, Heathcote and Donald (when fit) at times he's failed to make his mark. The next Tiger player to hit the hallowed turf of Bath was Dan Hipkiss following his fellow band member Sam Vesty. Hipkiss was a true stalwart at Leicester being the player who had scored the winning try for Tigers against Sarries in the 2010 Aviva premiership final Potentially a strong signing with 150 points in 130 appearances for Tigers, representing England at all levels from U18 to gaining 15 first team caps. So could Bath be getting a dynamic and slick centre?

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It's official - Bath Rugby snap up wing ace Agulla

Bath Rugby are pleased to confirm that Argentine international winger, Horacio Agulla will be joining Bath Rugby next season.

The 27 year old, equally adept playing on the wing or at fullback, has been capped 34 times by his country and will prove an excellent addition to the back line with a great attitude and physicality as well as a nose for the try line. He will join up with the squad as soon as he has received his visa to play in the UK.

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Will All Black Stephen Donald be out for a duck?

A World Cup-winner is set to take to the field when a Bath Cricket Club Select XI plays its most light-hearted fixture of the season.

Bath CC will take on a Bath Rugby Legends XI in a fundraising clash on Wednesday, July 4 – with All Black Stephen Donald taking to the field for the rugby club.

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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tom Bradshaw: Prop David Flatman embodied spirit of Bath Rugby

Three years ago, I was rash enough to take part in a Bath Rugby pre-season 'Strongman' training session. In a moment of folly, I thought it would form the basis for a good feature.

There were sandbags to be lifted, sleighs pushed, tyres to be flipped, people to be wrestled. Your usual journalistic assignment, really.


Within 25 minutes of the session starting, I'd been ordered off the circuit by a conditioner everyone other than me called Gorilla, and scrum-half Scott Bemand was pointing me to the fire exit so I could throw up discreetly outside. That was until a guffawing club physio turned up with a camcorder and filmed me bringing up my Weetabix.

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Head coach Gary Gold comfortable with Bath expectations

Bath head coach Gary Gold has said he is comfortable with the expectations from the club and supporters.
The 44-year-old South African joined in May as part of a new backroom team that included Toby Booth, Neal Hatley, Mike Ford and Brad Davis.
"I come from a background in Cape Town where levels of expectation are as high as they are here in Bath," he told BBC Points West.
"I'm used to expectations and I'm happy with them, I'm excited about them."

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Congrats to Lee Mears...

Lee Mears retains his place on the bench for England's 3rd Test against South Africa on Saturday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth (live Sky Sports 1, 3.30pm)

Horacio Agulla set to sign for Bath Rugby

Horacio Agulla is set to sign for Bath Rugby as a replacement for Matt Carraro as reported in the Bath Chronicle today!

Horacio Agulla (born October 22, 1984 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine rugby union player, who represents Leicester Tigers at club level, and has played for Argentina's national side. Agulla plays as a winger. He also attended St. Felipe The Apostle School in Don Torcuato a Suburb in The Province of Buenos Aires).

Agulla made his debut for the national side on December 3, 2005, in a match against Samoa, and has received 8 caps in total (as of September 7, 2007). Agulla was in the Argentine squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and featured in the opening match against France. In 2008 he signed with Top 14's US Dax. He has since moved on to Brive. It was reported in early April 2010 (including on Sky Sports in the UK) that he had signed a contract to play for Leicester Tigers from the 2010/2011 season, joining his fellow Argentine internationals Marcos Ayerza and Lucas González Amorosino at Welford Road.

Source: Wikipedia




This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

The redesigned and refitted Bath Rugby shop on Argyle Street will reopen on Saturday, June 30.

To celebrate the opening at 9am the first 50 children will receive a goody bag and the first 50 adults through the door will all get a £10 voucher to spend in store on the day.

The shop will also be holding a special pre-event launch at 6pm on Friday, June 29 for ten competition winners.

Read the articles now...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Find out what Gary Gold has in plan for Bath Rugby next season...

On the 1st day of pre-season Gary Gold gives an insightful interview to BRtv about his plans for the upcoming season.

Abendanon gets a hat trick as England win

Bath Rugby full back, Nick Abendanon scored a first half hat-trick and put in a great all round performance as England beat the SA Northern Barbarians 57-31 in Potchefstroom.

Openside flanker, Carl Fearns also impressed with some solid tackling, barnstorming runs and good play at the breakdown to lay down a marker ahead of the third and final test on Saturday.

Full story to follow on the offy

A New Beginning

Can't wait until start of the season? Don't worry, check out this promo to get the juices flowing.......A New Beginning

Season Ticket Promo 2012/13 from Bath Rugby on Vimeo.

Test your rugby law knowledge...

What's the meaning of this referee's signal?

Test your knowledge of rugby with this quiz created by @nickj89

Play now...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Abendanon and Fearns in for England

England team to face SA Northern Barbarians (6pm Tuesday on Sky Sports)

15 Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby)
14 Christian Wade (London Wasps)
13 Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers)
12 Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
11 Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
10 Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
1 Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors)
2 Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
3 Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints)
4 Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
5 George Robson (capt, Harlequins)
6 Jamie Gibson (London Irish)
7 Carl Fearns (Bath Rugby)
8 Ben Morgan (Scarlets)

Replacements

16 Joe Gray (Harlequins)
17 Rupert Harden (Gloucester Rugby)
18 Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
19 James Haskell (Otago Highlanders)
20 Karl Dickson (Harlequins)
21 David Strettle (Saracens)
22 Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)

A Gold-en future on the horizon for Bath Rugby

During the month of May a West Country revolution has been taking place. Gone is Sir Ian McGeechan from the Rec as director of rugby, in his place Gary Gold.

Gold replaces McGeechan after just one season in charge following a disappointing campaign which saw Bath finish the season eighth and exit the Heineken Cup at the group stage. The South African has one clear ambition, in his own words: “to put Bath rugby back on the map”. The 44 year-old has experience in abundance, which will no doubt ease the fears of the partisan crowd that make their pilgrimage to the Recreation ground every season, of not only Premiership rugby but the workings of an international set-up also.

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

David Flatman: Over and out

Every sportsman knows that a career is finite. Some are lucky enough to go at the moment of their choosing; others when their contract ends. But sometimes injury makes the decision for you. David Flatman, who has written so eloquently on these pages, describes the end of his career.

As an 18-year- old boy, I turned up with my mate Jonny Dawson at the Saracens training ground. We were shown to the ice-cold locker room, told there was no way we were getting one of our own and instructed to make sure our gear was not left in the way of any of the players. We were then led into a team meeting for which we were late. Mark Evans, then the boss, told us to "piss off and wait outside".

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Saturday, 16 June 2012

Steve Cotton: Remarkable Flatman a joy to interview

When people – and, by 'people', I mean that rare thing of a work experience kid who is not afraid of his or her own shadow and voice – ask me who is the best interviewee I have ever encountered, I do not even have to think.

Not 'have you ever been star-struck interviewing anyone?', 'who is the most famous person you have interviewed?' or 'who is the most successful sportsperson you have interviewed?' – but who is the best to interview? Who would you want to interview time and time and time again?

The answer is simple – and I can assure you that the fact David Flatman was this week forced to retire from professional rugby will have been met with a collective groan from the esteemed members of the Rugby Union Writers' Club.

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Tom Bradshaw: Springbok mentality is needed at Bath Rugby

Here are two facts: a) as expected, South Africa's forwards play – once the Boks found their feet – was blisteringly intense against England in the first Test on Saturday; b) the new Bath rugby head coach is the former assistant coach of South Africa who had responsibility for the Boks' pack.

It would be misleading to make hasty, glib statements about how Gary Gold is likely to inject "Springbok steel" into the Bath pack. But, nevertheless, watching the intensity with which the Boks played in the third quarter of Saturday's match should serve to whet Bath fans' appetite a touch.

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Friday, 15 June 2012

Matt Banahan says Bath 'lacked commitment' last season

Bath winger Matt Banahan says the players did not trust the club's "game plan" last season.

Before this season, the West country side had secured four consecutive top-five finishes in the Premiership.But this term they stuttered under now former director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan and finished eighth to miss on a Heineken Cup place.
"Everyone gave 100% but people weren't buying in to the full game plan," Banahan, 25, told BBC Jersey.Bath's new-look backroom
Gary Gold - head coach
Previously coached Springboks, London Irish, Super 15 side Stormers and Newcastle Falcons

Toby Booth - Forwards coach
Spent a decade with London Irish - four years as head coach

Neal Hatley - Forwards coach
Former London Irish prop and youth academy coach

Mike Ford - Defence coach
Former Rugby League player; Ex-defence coach with England and British and Irish Lions. Worked with Gold at Newcastle

Brad Davis - Skills/Attack coach
Former Rugby League player; Defence and skills coach at Bath since 2006

"Halfway through the season we knew two coaches [McGeechan and forwards coach Martin Haag] were going, while four guys retired and four players we knew were leaving.


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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Flatman retires through injury

Bath Rugby prop David Flatman has been forced to retire from the game through injury with immediate effect.

A true example of a professional sportsman in rugby, Flatman arrived at the Rec in 2003, going on to make 161 appearances for the Club and becoming a cornerstone of the Bath pack in that time.

The destructive loosehead also won eight caps for England, making his debut against South Africa in 2000. His last tour with the national side came in the summer of 2010, following an impressive 2009/10 domestic season.

Flatman's experience will not be lost, however, as he intends to stay on and work within the business side of the Club.

Leave your thank yous for Flats here...

Read more on the offy...



This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

Bath’s new-look coaching team will report for duty at Farleigh House today following a major overhaul of the club’s backroom staff.

Gary Gold and his coaching team will dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s on their pre-season plans ahead of the players clocking on for their first training session on Monday.

Read the articles now...

Amlin Challenge Cup draw

Pool 1:
Gloucester
London Irish
Bordeaux-Begles
Mont-de-Marsan

Pool 2:
Perpignan
Worcester Warriors
Rugby Rovigo
Bizkaia Gernika

Pool 3:
Wasps Rugby
Dragons
Aviron
Rugby Mogliano

Pool 4:
Bath Rugby
Cammi Rugby Calvisano
SU Agen
Bucharest Wolves

Pool 5:
Stade Francais
Newcastle Falcons
I Cavalieri
Grenoble

 

Fixture dates:

ROUND 1 - 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 October, 2012

ROUND 2 - 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 October, 2012

ROUND 3 - 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 December, 2012

ROUND 4 - 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 December, 2012

ROUND 5 - 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 January, 2013

ROUND 6 - 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 January, 2013

QUARTER-FINALS - 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 April, 2013

SEMI-FINALS - 26 / 27 / 28 April, 2013

FINAL - Friday 17 May, 2013 - The RDS, Dublin (k.o. 20:00)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Video interview with Nick Blofeld

Before pre-season starts on Monday BRtv took the opportunity to catch up with Nick Blofeld to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.

BRtv chat to Bath Rugby CEO Nick Blofeld from Bath Rugby on Vimeo.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Heathcote starts at fly half against South Africa U20's

Bath Rugby fly half, Tom Heathcote has retained the number ten shirt as England Under 20 make six changes to the side that beat Ireland 20-15 for Tuesday's IRB Junior World Championship final Pool B clash against hosts South Africa at The Cape Town Stadium, kick off 5.45pm (BST).


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Congrats to Fearns and Bendy

Bath Rugby back row, Carl Fearns has been named to start on the openside flank for England against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday, kick off 3pm.

Nick Abendanon, who was recently called up to the squad in place of the injured Mike Brown, has been selected on the bench.


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Overlooked or over hyped?

With the news of Nick Abendanon getting a call up for England, well deserved I think as a Bath fan, but are there other players who deserve a shout at international level.

Do fans believe in players for their ability or because of the club they support?

Ultimately I'm a rugby fan as well as being a Bath Rugby fan, I believe if a player is talented and of a high enough calibre then they deserve an international call up. I personally want to see my nation do the best they possibly can and know potentially can do. Regardless of which club they play for, sadly at times this is not the case for all supporters who wish to see the inclusion of only their own team players. At times followers of club teams struggle to look past their own club for top players. An example of this comes in the form of a handful of Tiger's fans that through the entirety of the England v South Africa first test continually had jibes at Owen Farrell, picking up on any error he made and calling for him to be replaced by Flood. Toby Flood who has not played for 6-8weeks, in fairness he is a quality player but not totally match fit I'd prefer to see Farrell on the pitch to start than Flood for the better of England. The one thing a supporter of any sport should do, is support their nation and wish for nothing but the best from the players as part a team, or is that an over ambitious thought?

All fans believe their club has an abundance of top class players and we Bath fans are no different. Is this true or are we looking through Blue, Black and White tinted glasses?Are Bath rugby players being overlooked because of last season's club performance or in honesty are they just not as good as we believe?

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Sunday, 10 June 2012

FINALLY... Bendy in the England squad

Bath Rugby fullback Nick Abendanon has been called up to Stuart Lancaster's England squad who are currently touring South Africa.

Abendanon will replace the injured Mike Brown, who suffered a fracture and ligament damage to his right thumb and will return to England later this week for further medical consultation.


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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Tom Heathcote starts at fly-half for England U20

England Under 20 starting XV against Ireland

15 Tommy Bell (London Wasps)
14 Marland Yarde (London Irish)
13 Will Addison (Sale Sharks)
12 Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby) (C)
11 Charlie Walker (Harlequins)
10 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby)
9 Ben Spencer (Saracens)
1 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps)
2 Koree Britton (Gloucester Rugby)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4 Dominic Barrow (Leeds Carnegie)
5 George Merrick (Harlequins)
6 David Sisi (London Irish)
7 Ben Nutley (Northampton Saints)
8 Jack Clifford (Harlequins)

Replacements

16 Max Crumpton (Saracens)
17 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
18 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)
19 Sam Twomey (Harlequins)
20 Chris Walker (Leeds Carnegie)
21 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
22 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Ben Ransom (Saracens)


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Congrats to Mears and James

Bath Rugby Hooker, Lee Mears has been named on the bench for this Saturdays first test against South Africa in Durban, kick off 4pm BST.

Bath Rugby's new signing, Paul James, has been named on the bench for Wales as they prepare for their test match against Australia in Brisbane this Saturday, kick off 11am BST.

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Tom is in the points

RUGBY Tom Heathcote ran in a try from 60 metres as England's under-20s made a convincing start to their IRB Junior World Championship campaign in South Africa.

The Bath Rugby centre also kicked four conversions as England thumped Italy 64-5 in the University of Western Cape Stadium on Monday.

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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Heathcote starts in the centre for England Under 20

Bath Rugby's Tom Heathcote will start at inside centre for England Under 20 tomorrow when they take on Italy in the IRB Junior World Championship opener at the University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town, kick-off 15.45 (BST), live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Head Coach Rob Hunter and Assistant Nick Walshe have given first Under 20 starts to Nathan Morris, Ross Harrison, David Sisi and Billy Vunipola, while Chris Walker captains the side for the fifth time.

Five of the matchday squad (Yarde, Robson, Twomey, Mills and Ransom) played in the 2011 competition in Italy and Hunter says that their experience will be key.

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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Mercer to captain Bath Rugby at the Bournemouth 7’s

Bath Rugby flanker, Guy Mercer will captain a youthful squad which includes James Tyas, Joe Buckle and JJ Kilmartin at this weekend's Bournemouth 7's festival, taking place from Friday 1st until Sunday 3rd

Bath Rugby 7's Squad:

Tom Baldwin
Joe Buckle
James Tyas
Will Skuse
Guy Mercer (c)
Ed Hainsworth
Alex Brown
Freddie Gabbitas
JJ Kilmartin
George Drury
Tom Dunn
Will Tanner
Ollie Evans