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Bath change it up again, altering Hooper role and axing Griffiths

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Gallagher Premiership strugglers Bath have rolled out yet more alterations to its management, giving incoming head coach Johann van Graan full control of the first team, switching Stuart Hooper from director of rugby to a new general manager position and saying farewell to Ed Griffiths and his short-lived contribution as chairman

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It was last December when word emerged from The Rec that Bath had recruited van Graan from Munster for the 2022/23 season and would be working as the head coach under Hooper, who has been in charge since 2019. 

However, with the season since then continuing to be problematic under Hooper, that anticipated Bath pecking order for next season has now been reversed with van Grann set to have the controlling say on first-team rugby matters above Hooper while Griffiths will now exit after just seven months.  

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A Bath statement read: “Johann van Graan will take on the role of head of rugby on July 1, leading the club’s rugby programme. He assumes complete responsibility for rugby matters. Van Graan will concentrate on the coaching and performances of the team and will oversee all coaching and performance staff.

“Stuart Hooper assumes the new role of general manager, reporting to van Graan. In his new role, Hooper will support van Graan in delivering the club’s long-term plans which include the further enhancement of its player pathway and academy, and the development of competitive advantage in areas of data, psychology, nutrition, training and performance facilities.

“Furthermore, the club today confirms that Edward Griffiths has completed his term as chairman. Having undertaken an in-season review of the club’s rugby programme in November 2021, Griffiths was contracted to lead Bath’s performance reset and many of his recommendations have now been implemented.

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Bath CEO Tarquin McDonald said: “These roles are confirmed ahead of our final game of the season against Worcester Warriors and as we ready ourselves for the 2022/23 season. This reset will provide the foundations for a revival for the club over the coming seasons.”

Owner Bruce Craig, who relinquished his role as chairman in January, added: “We thank Edward for all he has done in helping our club to refocus. He has brought expertise, knowledge and experience and he leaves the club in a significantly stronger position. I will continue to support the club as we move forward.”

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