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Bath Media Manager - the toughest job in English rugby?

By Paul Smith
Action from Bath v Sale

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Stuart Hooper is not having the easiest time of things at present, but Bath’s director of rugby – to his eternal credit – fronted up to the BT Sport cameras, radio and the written press following last week’s humiliating 17-71 home defeat at the hands of Saracens.


He then had to deal with the media pack when his club conducted their compulsory midweek presser ahead of this Saturday’s game – the small matter of an away trip to defending Gallagher Premiership champions Harlequins.

And after his team had slipped to a fifth consecutive defeat of the season – and tenth in 11 league starts – Hooper had to find more words to explain why things are going so badly awry at the Rec and what is being done to address the situation.

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Eddie Jones’ press conference
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Eddie Jones’ press conference

Far from easy – but it is just possible that at the moment this is only the second hardest job in Bath? After all, who would want to be their Media Manager?

Stuart Hooper may be the exception, but not many DOR’s write their own programme notes or quotes for press releases, team announcements and the like. This is one of the many tasks undertaken by the Media Manager whose words receive a cursory glance from the boss before being released to the waiting world.

Having credited the opposition, bemoaned injured absentees and said we’re all working day and night to put things right what plausible-but-different words are left for a struggling club’s head coach bingo card?

Come back stronger next week – check.


Learn from our mistakes – yup.

Young players on a development curve – always.

Thank the loyal fans for their support – essential.

Then, having completed this thankless task, the same Media Manager has to do post-defeat battle with Twitter and Facebook.


Post nothing, remain diplomatically quiet and wait for a corner to be turned is what he/she wants to do, but with nearly 120,000 followers waiting for content that really isn’t an option.

There is also almost certainly a senior manager somewhere monitoring social media output and asking how can we grow our audience? Try winning a few games is the obvious but unspoken answer.

The phrase that comes to mind is damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Bath’s end-of-match Tweet from the Stoop and the responses to it tell the story. Let’s hope their Media Manager has a very thick skin plus a blue-black-and-white tin hat…



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