Aviva Premiership

Blackadder ready for Bath challenge

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder is relishing the chance to revive Bath's fortunes after agreeing a deal to become the Premiership side's new director of rugby.

During the 1990s Bath dominated English rugby with five titles in six years, while also lifting the European Cup and Anglo-Welsh trophy.

However, since 1998 Bath have only tasted success in the European Challenge Cup, and last season they finished ninth in the league, 10 points off the continental qualification positions.

Long-time coach Mike Ford left the club in May and Blackadder – who is joined by Crusaders colleague Tabai Matson – has been tasked with bringing success back to The Rec.

"I'm really looking forward to joining Bath," said the 44-year-old.

"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."

Since 2009, Blackadder has guided the Crusaders to four Super Rugby semi-finals and two finals, but he was unable to take them further than the last eight in the current campaign.