Bath in no rush to appoint captain
July 19, 2012
Flanker Francois Louw was Bath captain for most of last season © Getty Images
Bath's new defence coach Mike Ford says that the club are in no hurry to announce who will be club captain in the coming season.
The west-country club will play their first pre-season friendly against London Welsh on August 11 and it will only be then that they make clear who will be wearing the captain's armband. In the meantime new head coach Gary Gold has arranged a number of player groups and will wait to see who puts themselves forward as a candidate during their pre-season preparations. Last season Stuart Hooper was captain, but his run of injuries meant that South African flanker Francois Louw was skipper for the majority of the season.
"There are a few players who know they are going to be leaders in certain areas," Ford told The Western Daily Press. "We've talked about it internally. We will have defence and attack committees - five or six players who we will hold conversations with and empower. There is no announcement (about the captaincy) at the moment. We have spoken to one or two players and they are probably the names you would expect, but we want to keep our powder dry a little bit. We want to see who barges to the top when it comes to the contact."
After a mediocre number of seasons Bath have completely overhauled their coaching set-up under Gold and along with Ford, the club have brought in former London Irish head coach Toby Booth. The players quickly got to know their new coaches and what is expected of them on a recent five-day coaching camp at the National Diving Centre in Chepstow.
"It was a different camp to usual and there is no end point," Ford said. "The things we learnt on camp we want to take through the whole year. We will take some things out of it that will set us up for the rest of the year and beyond. It was more than a physical beasting, although the players did get a couple of those. We filled the days. There were some classroom sessions and guidelines were set that the players had to adhere to. We kept them up late and got them up early and took them to places they hadn't been to before."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin