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Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam

Johan van Graan has quietly set about improving every facet of the West Country club and results are starting to come

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Twitter reaction to Bath included deleted tweet by England player

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Wednesday afternoon’s confirmation that Bath have undergone yet another restructure involving Stuart Hooper and Ed Griffiths generated much reaction on Twitter, including a deleted tweet from England international Joe Cokanasiga. It was December when Munster’s Johann van Grann was confirmed as head coach for the 2022/23 season with Hooper remaining as director of rugby, while the following month ex-Saracens guru Griffiths was appointed as chairman following an initial consultancy at The Rec.

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That plan has now been shredded, though, following what was described as a power struggle at the club and it has resulted in the incoming van Grann being handed full control of first-team rugby matters, with Hooper demoted to a newly-created general manager position under him and Griffiths exiting the club altogether.

Naturally, the latest swings and roundabouts at a club that was anchored to the foot of the Gallagher Premiership table until last weekend’s win against London Irish was subject to much commentary on social media and perhaps the most intriguing comment was a deleted tweet by Cokanasiga, who was part of the England training squad in London at the start of this week.

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Dave Attwood on bust ups with Owen Farrell, Sam Burgess & new Bath era | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 35

Bath fan Lucas Ward managed to screenshot the “Weird lol” deleted response that the winger posted to the official club Twitter story, Bath Rugby confirms new rugby structure for the 2022/23 season after in-season reset. “Deleted tweet from Big Joe in regards to the departure of Ed Griffiths,” wrote Ward.

Dragons-bound Max Clark, who is soon leaving Bath for the URC after more than a decade’s service, tweeted: “I want to say a personal thank you to Ed Griffiths. He brought some needed light in a very dark season!”

Ex-England international Andy Goode didn’t agree, though, writing: “The best thing Bath announced today is that Ed Griffiths has left the building. All the better for the club and Premiership rugby in general!” This prompted a reply from Craig Chalmers, the ex-Scotland player. “Couldn’t agree more Goody! Good riddance! Total fraud!”

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With regard to the new role for Hooper, Bath fan David Burgess quipped: “On today of all days it makes you wonder who is better at dodging responsibility Stuart Hooper or Boris Johnson!?!”

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