Neal Hatley promoted to head coach role at Bath

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Ben Coles
·2 min read
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Hatley spent four years working in the England coaching setup - GETTY IMAGES
Hatley spent four years working in the England coaching setup - GETTY IMAGES

Bath have announced that assistant coach Neal Hatley has been promoted to head coach ahead of the Gallagher Premiership restart this weekend.

Hatley returned to Bath at the start of the season to take over as forwards and defence coach, after working as England's scrum coach under Eddie Jones over four years.

Hatley's input at Bath has been easy to spot given the development of props Beno Obano and Will Stuart, with the latter going on to be capped by England in the Six Nations.

Discussing Hatley's promotion, the Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper stressed that Hatley's ability to connect with Bath's players on and off the field has played a key role in his promotion, with Hooper adding that he had always been eager to operate with a director of rugby and head coaching structure.

Telegraph Sport understands that Bath are not currently planning to add another body to their coaching staff, which also includes Girvan Dempsey (attack and backs), Luke Charteris (lineout) and Mark Lilley (scrum).

Rugby Nerd REFERRAL (article)
Rugby Nerd REFERRAL (article)

“We’re thrilled to confirm Neal as head coach," Hooper said. "The director of rugby and head coach setup has always been the route I want to follow. I believe it’s the right way to get the best out of our people.

"Neal’s ability to connect with the players and develop those relationships along with his ability to deliver the key principles of our play is a huge skill.

“He takes players on the journey and helps them understand why we do what we do. His ability to connect with those guys, influence them, develop them outside of the training field is massive and an absolutely fundamental part of being a head coach.

"I’m responsible for field performance," Hatley said. "With my focus on delivering great performances on the pitch, it allows Stuart to focus on how we want to play and perform, making sure we are doing what we discussed in training and optimising everything we do."