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Bath appoint former England assistant as new head coach

Former England assistant Neal Hatley has been named as the new head coach of Premiership club Bat...

Former England assistant Neal Hatley has been named as the new head coach of Premiership club Bath.

Hatley returned to the Rec after last year's Rugby World Cup following three-and-a-half years as England's scrum coach under Eddie Jones.

The 50-year-old, who had previously in charge of the forwards at Bath from 2012 to 2016, will work under director of rugby Stuart Hooper.

"We're thrilled to confirm Neal as head coach. The director of rugby and head coach set-up has always been the route I want to follow," Hooper said.

"Bringing Neal back into our environment was about reconnecting, finding out how I can compliment him, how he can compliment me and how we can deliver the best programme here at the club," he told the club website.

Hatley won England Saxons caps at prop and made 193 Premiership appearances as a player. He started his coaching career as an academy manager at London Irish.

Hatley helped England reach the 2019 World Cup final against South Africa as well as winning the 2017 Six Nations and enjoying a successful tour of Australia a year earlier.

"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," Hatley added.

"As head coach, I want to make sure I get the best out of our players and that's a lot about building relationships, knowing they trust your leadership.

"I've set out very clearly how I expect our players to behave, how I expect them to train and how we expect to treat each other."

Hatley's first match in the new role will be Saturday's clash with his former employers London Irish at the Rec. The competition restarts following the COVID-19 pandemic which halted rugby in the UK for almost 5 months.

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2019 Rugby World Cup Bath Eddie Jones England Rugby Neal Hatley Premiership Rugby Rugby