Bath may announce their new coaching team this week and it includes an experienced pairing that should delight many Bath fans.
According to Neil Fissler, a leading journalist who writes for both the Sunday Express and The Rugby Paper, Bath are set to announce Todd Blackadder as Director of Rugby and Tabai Matson as head coach and may do so before the weekend.
— Neil Fissler (@neilfissler) July 13, 2016
Blackadder played for the All Blacks twelve times before moving into coaching, working as an assistant forwards with former Scotland boss Matt Williams before becoming forwards coach under Frank Hadden at Edinburgh Gunners.
The former New Zealand international then returned home to work with Tasman before gaining employment with Canterbury Crusaders and went on to become head coach. In all he is now in his eighth season with the Super Rugby side and told Stuff.co.nz:
“I have been so fortunate to be able to do my dream job for all of these years, but eight years is a relatively long time in coaching and I feel that the time is right for someone else to take the reins and lead the team in their own direction in the future.”
Since Blackadder has been involved the side have made it to two Super Rugby finals and progressed to the semi-finals in each season, with last year being the exception.
Tabai Matson represented Fiji at the 1999 Rugby World Cup during his playing career and also played for New Zealand but did feature in any test matches, thus remaining uncapped.
He has spent the last three years working with Blackadder at the Crusaders as assistant coach. However, if Matson were to move to Bath with his current boss it would come as something of a surprise given his previously vocal affirmations about wishing to take over at the Crusaders (via Stuff.co.nz):
“Yes, I am keen. I think it is still one of the most prestigious jobs in world rugby and there is going to be a really good group of people who will apply. I will throw my name in the hat.”
If the pair are indeed confirmed this week then it will do a lot to quell the growing frustration from Bath fans who have had to wait for a protracted period to find out who will replace sacked head coach Mike Ford.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena