Gold reserve muddies the water at Bath

 

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Gary Gold has been linked so heavily with the impending coaching vacancy at Bath that many rugby insiders see it as a done deal, but things are never entirely straightforward at the Recreation Ground. The South African declared yesterday that while he was indeed interested in signing up for another tour of duty in the Premiership, there were jobs back home in Springbok country that might be too attractive to turn down.

"There are two opportunities over there that have opened up and I would very much like to consider," said Gold, currently heading up Newcastle's late bid to remain a top-flight concern. "But I have also made no secret of the fact that I love the Premiership. The game in England is well run and in a healthy state, and I love the traditions. I'm aware there are Premiership jobs out there, but my main focus is on going home to Cape Town to see if my family still recognise me. From there I will take a breath, weigh up my options and see where we go."

Gold, who helped coach the Boks at last year's World Cup in New Zealand, is in the last throes of his short-term rugby directorship at Newcastle, who will be relegated if they fail to win by a distance at Wasps in the final match of the regular season on Saturday week. The Tynesiders have improved significantly under his stewardship but he always planned to move on.

Bath, who are parting company with Sir Ian McGeechan and the forwards coach Martin Haag, have been impressed by Gold's work, together with that of Michael Cheika, the Australian who coaches Stade Français. In fact, they were keen on recruiting Cheika before they moved for McGeechan – a decision that led to the departure of the attack coach Steve Meehan and an immediate drop-off in form.

Shane Geraghty will return to London Irish next season after an unfulfilling season of French club rugby with Brive. The midfielder left the Exiles for Northampton in 2009.

The England captain, Chris Robshaw, has been nominated for the Premiership's Player of the Year award, along with his fellow Harlequin Mike Brown, James Scaysbrook of Exeter, Julian Salvi of Leicester, Gloucester's Nick Wood and Brad Barritt of Saracens. Leicester's Richard Cockerill, Conor O'Shea of Harlequins and Exeter's Rob Baxter are nominated for director of rugby of the year.

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