Mallett in the frame to knock Bath into shape

 

Bath’s decision to sever links with Sir Ian McGeechan at season’s end – a move confirmed by the under-performing West Country club yesterday after discussions with their director of rugby 24 hours previously – will lead to a root-and-branch restructuring of back-room operations at the Recreation Ground, with Martin Haag, a loyal servant as both player and forwards coach, expected to follow McGeechan through the door after the final round of league games.

McGeechan was recruited as performance director by Bruce Craig, a free-spending owner keen to attract big names to match his grand ambitions, but when the role was broadened to include hands-on work with the senior team, the head coach Steve Meehan was effectively demoted and left in an impossible position. Meehan, one of the most innovative coaches in English rugby, duly cashed in his chips and returned to Australia, leaving Bath severely weakened.

Andy Robinson, very much a man of Bath, rejected the chance to return, preferring to stay in international rugby with Scotland. Alternative targets are said to include the former Springbok coach Nick Mallett, who missed out on the England job last week, and his fellow South African Gary Gold, currently working with relegation-threatened Newcastle. There has also been talk of Toby Booth and Mike Catt, who spent much of his playing career at the Rec, joining in tandem from London Irish, but some Bath insiders believe Michael Cheika, the high-achieving Australian who coached Leinster to a Heineken Cup title in 2009, is now top of the list.

Cheika is in charge of the Parisian club Stade Francais, who meet Exeter in a home Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final tonight. The Devonians will have their work cut out against a side boasting the Argentine outside-half Felipe Contepomi, the record-breaking Wallaby flanker George Smith and the world-class Italy No 8 Sergio Parisse.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss