Sunday, 14 October 2012

Tom Bradshaw: Schedule has done Bath no favours

Spare a thought over the next few days for Bath's rugby operations manager, Dave Guyan. In what is no doubt proving to be a logistical nightmare, Bath play two different continental sides in the space of five days.

Bath's opening two rounds of the Amlin Cup will see them zig-zag around Europe as though on a very ambitious tour.

It's Bucharest on Saturday, followed by Agen in France in Thursday. It must have been tempting to fit in a bit of central European sightseeing in the intervening few days, but it will be back to Bath straight after the Bucharest match before flying out to Agen midweek.

This fixture schedule is not ideal for Bath. I doubt it was on the agenda when European rugby chiefs met in Rome on Monday, but this cramped planning does not do European rugby's second-tier competition any favours.

Rugby coaches do not like short turnarounds. A match every seven days is fine; if they see a six-day gap they start to frown; a five-day turnaround is likely to bring on the sweats.

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