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    Blackadder confirmed as new Bath coach

    2016-07-28 10:31

    Wellington - Outgoing Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said on Thursday he had signed a three-year deal to take the helm at English Premiership club Bath.

    Blackadder said he was looking forward to a new challenge after his eight-year tenure with the Crusaders ended when they lost to the Golden Lions in the Super Rugby quarter-finals last weekend.

    "Super Rugby's open, running rugby and at times over there, with the weather conditions, it'll be a different style of play," the 44-year-old told Radio New Zealand.

    "It's a really good challenge for me as a coach... for me it's about going away for three years and still learning and developing."

    Bath said in a statement that Blackadder would have the title director of rugby with Tabai Matson, his assistant at the Crusaders, becoming head coach.

    Bath sacked Mike Ford in May after a dismal season when the West Country club finished ninth in the Premiership and crashed out at the group stage in the European Champions Cup.

    Bath managing director Tarquin McDonald said Blackadder and Matson would work with existing members of the coaching set-up Toby Booth and Darren Edwards, and with Stuart Hooper.

    "They bring a wealth of experience and provide a great fit for the club in terms of what we want to achieve on the pitch, the way we want to play, and our desire to develop home grown talent," he said.

    Blackadder announced last year that it would be his last after the team failed to reach the finals for the first time since 2001.

    During his time at the helm, the Crusaders campaign has ended in the final twice, the semi-finals four times and the quarter-finals once.

    He admitted it was frustrating to leave the Crusaders without adding another title to the seven they already have in the trophy cabinet.

    "It does feel tough but we gave ourselves every chance and got to a couple of finals... that's just life I suppose," he said.

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