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  1. ITV Report

Stuart Hooper appointed new Director of Rugby

Former club captain Stuart Hooper will start the new role next season. Credit: ITV West Country

Stuart Hooper has been appointed Bath's new Director of Rugby for the start of next season.

The decision follows the club's announcement in April 2019 that Todd Blackadder was stepping down to become head coach at Japanese side Toshiba.

In September 2018 the New Zealander signed a contract extension to stay at The Rec until the end of next season, but was granted an early release.

Todd Blackadder is leaving at the end of the season to head to Japan. Credit: ITV West Country

Former club captain Hooper was widely expected to be the next Director of Rugby.

He'll be assisted by Neal Hatley, who will assume responsibility for coaching the forwards and the defence following England's World Cup campaign this Autumn.

Girvan Dempsey will stay in his role of Attack and Backs Coach.

In a statement the club said:

Bath Rugby today confirms the appointment of Stuart Hooper as Director of Rugby, a role within which he will lead the rugby department, with an exciting coaching team at the helm and be charged with driving the Club into a new period of high-performance and success. Hooper’s appointment follows a clear process of thought and consideration by Bath Rugby, a process which affirmed the view that he is the right person to lead the Club into the future. As Director of Rugby Hooper will provide strength, leadership and a clear direction for the coaching team and squad to provide greater consistency of performance to underpin domestic and European success.

– Spokesperson, Bath Rugby