Duo in line for Bath job

PA Sport
Michael Cheika

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Michael Cheika

South African Gary Gold and Australian Michael Cheika are the top two contenders to become head coach of Aviva Premiership club Bath, Press Association Sport understands.

It is also believed that Nick Mallett, who was recently beaten to the role of England boss by Stuart Lancaster, is not being considered by Recreation Ground chiefs.

Bath have announced that rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan will leave his post at the end of this season.

McGeechan's exit, which coincides with the end of an existing two-year contract, will spark a coaching reshuffle.

Press Association Sport has learnt that Bath forwards coach Martin Haag is also set to depart, although the club's current skills and defence specialist Brad Davis could remain.

Bath say they are making "good progress" in identifying a head coach, claiming a new structure and coaches will be agreed and in place during the summer in readiness for next season.

McGeechan, 65, initially joined Bath as performance director. He held previous coaching roles with Northampton and Wasps, and is synonymous with the British and Irish Lions, having headed up four tours during a 20-year spell.

Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld said: "We would like to thank 'Geech' for his time with the club and for his assistance in developing the culture at the club through this transitional period.

"An announcement regarding a new head coach will be made in due course."

Gold is currently in temporary charge of Premiership relegation favourites Newcastle, while Cheika is at French club Stade Francais.

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