Ex-Edinburgh forward is named new Bath director of rugby

Bath have named former Edinburgh player and coach Todd Blackadder their new director of rugby and Tabai Matson as head coach.

Former Edinburgh coach Todd Blackadder has moved to Bath. Picture: SNS

The Aviva Premiership club have been searching for a new coaching set-up since dismissing Mike Ford as head coach in May following a disappointing season in which they finished ninth in the league.

The highly-regarded Blackadder, 44, is a former All Blacks captain who has been in charge of Christchurch-based Super Rugby outfit the Crusaders since 2009, during which time he has taken them to four semi-finals and two finals.

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Lock/flanker Blackadder played out his glittering career with Edinburgh between 2001 and 2004 before moving into coaching and acting as Frank Hadden’s forwards chief in the 2004-05 season before returning to New Zealand.

Fijian Matson, meanwhile, has been Blackadder’s assistant coach since 2013 and is a specialist attack and backs coach. The 43-year-old has also enjoyed success with Canterbury in the ITM Cup and was the attack coach for Fiji at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Blackadder said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Bath – they are an ambitious club, with some very talented players. They play attacking rugby, and have a clear vision of where they want to be. Tabai and I are really excited to be part of that and to develop it 
further over the coming seasons.”

The duo will take up their posts in the next few weeks following the end of the 2016 Super Rugby campaign – the Crusaders were beaten 42-25 by the Lions in the play-off quarter-finals last weekend – and will be supported by current Bath first-team coaches Toby Booth, Darren Edwards and Stuart Hooper.

Matson said: “Both Todd and I are eagerly anticipating joining Bath, and linking up with Toby, Darren and Stuart as well as the squad and wider team. There is a lot of knowledge in the team and a great squad of players.”