Aviva Premiership

Ford confirms England approach for Hatley

Mike Ford confirmed that Bath first team coach Neal Hatley has been approached with a view to become the latest addition to the England coaching staff.

Hatley has emerged as a contender to replace Ian Peel, who was employed as scrum coach on an interim basis during England's successful Six Nations campaign.

Bath head coach Ford said talks have been held and said the former England Saxons prop would be sorely missed by the Premiership club if he takes a role with the Grand-Slam winners.

"There's nothing sorted, they've just approached us," Ford told the Western Daily Express.

"I'm pleased for Hats. Obviously, he's been recognised for his work here over the last three or four years.

"Just like a player playing international rugby, he has ambitions as well. He's a fantastic coach. The players love him, they really do."

Ford added: "Scrummaging is his forte, but he's done the defence for us this year and the contact area as well.

"It would be a big loss for us if he left, but an opportunity for me to have a look at our coaching set-up and the roles and responsibilities in that. With every door that shuts, another one opens."