Premiership: Bath bring in coach with ‘fantastic rugby IQ’
Bath have announced the signing of former Wasps head coach Lee Blackett, who will join the club as an assistant coach ahead of next season.
Blackett, 40, is highly respected in the coaching game after hanging up his boots as a player following periods with Fylde, Leeds Tykes and Rotherham Titans.
He coached Rotherham to the Championship play-offs in consecutive seasons and reached the latter stages of the British & Irish Cup, which were historic feats.
Well thought of coaching mind
In 2015 he became the attack coach at Premiership side Wasps, and their game flourished with ball in hand, with Blackett’s stock rising even further in the game.
In his fifth year with Wasps, Blackett was promoted to the position of head coach, guiding them to an unlikely Premiership final during the 2019/20 campaign.
Following Wasps’ sad demise in 2022, Blackett switched to United Rugby Championship outfit the Scarlets as backs and skills coach but is now moving to Bath.
“To have the opportunity to work with Johann, the rest of the coaching team and a talented playing group, as well as return to the Premiership, is very exciting for me,” he said.
“Bath is a club with rich history, fantastic support and has the infrastructure in place to be successful.
“I look forward to working with a team that has the potential to compete and challenge at the top end of the league.”
Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan added: “In the times I have coached against Lee for Munster and Bath, I have been very impressed with him as a person and as a leader; he will complement our coaching team and club very well.
“He has head coach experience and a fantastic rugby IQ. During his career, he has improved the abilities of world-class players, and we are excited for him to help develop our squad and game in year two of our journey.”
Edinburgh forwards coach re-signs
Elsewhere, Edinburgh forwards coach Stevie Lawrie has signed a new one-year deal with the club.
The 39-year-old joined the coaching staff as assistant forwards coach ahead of the 2019/20 season before being promoted to forwards coach two years later.
Edinburgh are currently recruiting for a new head coach to lead them into the 2023/24 campaign after it was announced in February that Mike Blair would be stepping down from the role at the end of the season.
Lawrie said: “I’m really excited to extend my contract with the club. Edinburgh Rugby has and continues to be a major part of my life.
“I’m privileged to be the forwards coach of my hometown club.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to drive standards next season while improving consistency on the field. We understand performances and results weren’t good enough this year.
“It’s now my role to work with the new head coach to ensure Edinburgh Rugby is back competing at the top end of the table.
“It’s a privilege to come to work every day and work with such a talented squad.
“We have all the ingredients to succeed – including a brilliant home ground and hugely engaged fan base – but it’s also about creating a robust environment, which translates into positive results.
“I’m really excited to continue the hard work next season. The club is in a great place and there’s so much more to come from this squad.”
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