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A mind coach is one of four new appointments unveiled at Bath

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Incoming head of rugby Johann van Graan has kickstarted his new reign at Bath by unveiling the appointment of four experienced professionals that the South African hopes can help transform the struggling Gallagher Premiership club’s fortunes next season.

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Defeat last Saturday at Worcester left Bath finishing at the bottom of the table for 2021/22 and van Graan, whose time in charge at Munster ended with last Friday’s URC quarter-final defeat at Ulster, has now quickly turned his attentions to his new role in England.

A club statement read: “Bath have strengthened head of rugby Johann van Graan’s management team with the appointment of four experienced professionals across its performance departments who together with the new coaching group will drive significant improvements on and off the pitch.

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“Alex Martin will lead the club’s athletic performance department, Rory Murray joins as head of medical services, Sarah Jenner is appointed lead performance nutritionist, and Don Macpherson joins as Bath’s mind coach.

“England women’s physical performance lead Alex Martin is highly regarded and joins as the head of athletic performance. Working with the Red Roses, Martin played a critical role in their current 23-match unbeaten run. He brings a wealth of experience having previously worked at Leicester Tigers for eleven years as head of physical performance across two spells, and Leicester City, Loughborough University and Wasps.

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“Rory Murray joins as head of medical services having spent the past ten years at Bristol Bears. Murray is an excellent practitioner and leader. He brings extensive knowledge and a broad skill set from different environments, following roles earlier in his career at the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland and Ulster rugby.

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“Lead performance nutritionist Sarah Jenner will join from Munster rugby. Jenner spent five years as a sports dietitian at Australian football league side Carlton, as well as lecturing in nutrition and dietetics at La Trobe University before joining Munster in Limerick last year.

“Don Macpherson will become the club’s mind coach having worked with a number of players at Bath rugby over the years. Macpherson has helped scores of world-class athletes, across a range of professional sports, to develop specific mental skills which enhance their performance.”

Bath CEO Tarquin McDonald said: “Alex, Rory, Sarah and Don have proven track records in maximising performance. They bring extensive experience from a range of high-performance environments and we are excited about them joining the club.

“Our training environment will be different from day one of pre-season as Johann and his team focus on improving every aspect of our performance on and off the pitch ahead of the 2022/23 season. We have appointed four outstanding professionals who will help Bath excel on the field.”

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