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Bath chief admits pain over season

Bath chairman Bruce Craig has laid bare his feelings about the club's performance this season, claiming: "It hurts to be in this position".

The Aviva Premiership club announced rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan will leave at the end of this season, while it is thought forwards coach Martin Haag will not be offered a new contract.

Bath currently lie eighth in the Premiership with just three games left, meaning they face a fight to secure qualification for next season's Heineken Cup.

Bath say they are making "good progress" in identifying a head coach. Press Association Sport understands South African Gary Gold and Australian Michael Cheika are the top two contenders.

And multi-millionaire Craig has now written an open letter, published on the club's website, offering his thoughts on what has been a poor campaign.

"I would like to take this opportunity to address everyone concerned with the performance of Bath Rugby," he said.

"I am the first to admit that this season has been disappointing and frustrating. We have been inconsistent and have under-performed. A considerable amount of time and money has been invested in the club this year without the returns expected by everyone.

"It hurts to be in this position, and all of us involved with the club understand that the overall performance has not been acceptable. We know we could, and should, have done much better.

"What I can say is that some hard lessons have been learnt, but our objectives and vision have not changed and we will continue to build the solid foundations for long-term success. Rugby is an important part of Bath, and striving to be champions is our goal.

"I still believe the squad is as competitive as any in the Premiership, and with a few new signings arriving over the summer and the fact the players will have been together for much longer, there is real reason to look forward positively."


From Belfast Telegraph