McGeechan to leave Bath

PA Sport
Sir Ian McGeechan

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Sir Ian McGeechan

Bath have confirmed that rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan will leave the club at the end of this season.

In doing so, the Aviva Premiership club have ended growing speculation about McGeechan's future. His existing two-year contract ends next month.

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."

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

Bath have suffered an erratic season, finding themselves well adrift of the Premiership play-off race and struggling to secure automatic qualification for next season's Heineken Cup. Their woes were compounded by a 26-6 home defeat against Northampton last Saturday that resulted in the club's coaching staff apologising to supporters for what was an abject performance.

The club say they are making "good progress" in identifying a new 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.

McGeechan added: "I've really enjoyed being part of Bath Rugby and the challenge of leading the cultural change that has taken place, particularly over the last 18 months.

"The commitment of the players and staff during this significant transitional period has been outstanding."

Several names have already been linked with taking over from McGeechan at the Recreation Ground. These include Gary Gold, who is currently in temporary charge of Premiership relegation favourites Newcastle, and his fellow South African Nick Mallett, who recently missed out behind Stuart Lancaster to be appointed England head coach.

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