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Hooper unveils Bath coaching reshuffle with an old academy coach returning to replace Dempsey

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

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Bath have confirm that ex-Ireland full-back Girvan Dempsey will leave at the end of the 2020/21 season when his assistant coaching contract finishes. Dempsey arrived at the Gallagher Premiership club in 2018 from Leinster and his exit now paves the way for Dave Williams to take over as attack and backs coach.


“Bath is a very special place and I have really enjoyed my time,” said Dempsey, who gave no indication on what he will do next. “I’d like to thank Stuart (Hooper), all the players and staff for the warm welcome they afforded me and my family. 

“I also want to thank our brilliant supporters, who we have sadly missed down at The Rec. I leave having forged many great friendships and with a lot of happy memories. I’m really looking forward to a new chapter and I wish everyone at Bath every success for the future.” 

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Prior to their latest Premierhsip loss to Sale last week, Hooper, reflecting on why this season hasn’t been as succesful as last year’s run to the semi-finals, said: “There has been a number of occasions where we have opportunities, we have not taken those opportunities whether that be in the game or in a moment in a game so that combined with the tries we have conceded is an area we need to look at moving into next year.”

Regarding Dempsey’s exit, Hooper added this Friday: “He is an outstanding person inside and out. I want to thank him for everything he has given to the club in his three seasons with us. He, like all of us, is judged on the 80 but it is his attention to detail in the 10,000 minutes that is a true reflection of his character. Girvan will be missed by everyone and we all wish him the success he deserves in his next venture.”

Dempsey’s departure now heralds the return of Williams, an academy coach at Bath from 2012 to 2014 who went on to coach attack at the Sharks and Kings in Super Rugby, the PRO14 Cheetahs and the Steelers in the Japanese Top League. Hooper said: “We want to accelerate the growth of our attacking game.


“We need to make a shift in terms of being clinical in attack, developing our play with ball in hand, playing into space and really challenging the opposition. It is an exciting shift and one that David will add too. I’m incredibly pleased to be able to welcome David who we believe will contribute enormously to our environment and to the evolution of our game.”

Williams added: “The club’s vision of signing world-class talent aligned with its strong commitment to developing players and coaches from within the region makes this opportunity an exciting prospect indeed and it’s a vision I hope to play a role in continuing to grow.”

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Hooper unveils Bath coaching reshuffle with an old academy coach returning to replace Dempsey