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Banahan reveals the real reason he left Bath

By Tim Groves

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Matt Banahan has told The Rugby Pod that his move from Bath to Gloucester was never about money but came about because of a time limit put on negotiations by the club.


The 31-year-old scored a hat-trick against London Irish last weekend to take his tally for Bath to 100 but they will be his last tries for the club as he has agreed to join West Country rivals Gloucester on a three-year deal and he admits to being disappointed more time wasn’t allowed for negotiations.

“It was never about money. It all kicked off with the negotiations and I was on a timescale,” he said.

“Being there for 12 years, I thought I’d have a bit more time to make a decision but obviously it was taken off the table pretty soon before December 31 and once that was taken away I had to look at what was best for me and my family.”

Banahan also revealed that Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder was not in charge of the discussions surrounding his contract and admitted that can cause problems.

“I know it’s not coming from Todd [Blackadder] so all I know is that it comes through a representative of the club and I don’t know who’s above that,” he told The Rugby Pod.

“I can only speculate who it is but I think when you look at how coaches want their players and we’ve gone through so many coaches maybe that might be the reason why because who’s team is it sometimes.”


The Jersey-born back has been at Bath for over a decade, working under a number of different coaches, and says the league table shows that the club needs to have consistency at the top if it wants to achieve success.

“In 12 years I’ve had 12 different coaches,” he said. “If you look at the stronghold of the league at the moment with Exeter, Saracens and Newcastle up there with Dean [Richards], they have got a structure with coaches that have been there and performing well for a few years and have the foundations to build on.

“Hopefully in years to come Bath will have that when they find the right mixture but obviously I’ll just move on now and look back at the good times I’ve had.”

Banahan also told Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton that Tabai Matson, who left Bath in September for family reasons, is the best coach he has played under.


It’s becoming increasingly rare for coaches or players to spend anywhere near as long as 12 years at one club and Banahan admits he is sad to be saying goodbye to The Rec but says he’s looking forward to a new challenge.

“I knew around Christmas time that my journey was finishing and it didn’t come as a surprise to me so I just had to move on and enjoy my last six months at the club,” he said.

“There’s a massive sad part inside of me but I think it’s the right time for me to leave. I’ve done a lot at the club in 12 years and sometimes you don’t have the fairytale ending. I’ve had an opportunity to move on and enjoy my rugby somewhere else.”

Watch the full video for Banahan’s views on his tattoos, being overlooked by England and much more.

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