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Bath rugby director Blackadder eager to move on from Ford episode

Todd Blackadder says that Bath will "move on" after drawn-out speculation about their England star George Ford's playing future reached a conclusion earlier this week.

The fly-half will rejoin Leicester this summer after the Aviva Premiership rivals agreed a reported £500,000 transfer fee, with Freddie Burns moving in the opposite direction.

The Ford saga had rumbled on for months and Bath rugby director Blackadder is pleased it has finally been resolved.

"We move on," he said. "Internally, it is not really a focus or something we talk about.

"It just means everyone can move forward now. The speculation has gone."

Bath, meanwhile, continued their Premiership play-off push after centre Max Clark's try edged them past Harlequins in a forgettable Recreation Ground clash.

Clark's 63rd-minute try proved enough to see off Quins, keeping Bath in fourth spot behind leaders Wasps, second-placed Saracens and Exeter.

Wales international fly-half Rhys Priestland added five penalties and a conversion as Bath triumphed 22-12, but most of what little attacking adventure there was on show came from Quins.

Wings Tim Visser and Marland Yarde claimed well-worked tries - Visser's touchdown was converted by fly-half Ruaridh Jackson - yet Bath did just enough to thwart them and halt their strong recent run of results.

"It was just one of those games when we felt in control, out of control," Blackadder continued.

"There were lots of mistakes, and then we showed some real grit in the last 20 minutes to win it.

"The Six Nations period was always going to be a bit like this. We had planned for it to be a little bit messy.

"We have a lot of injuries and it is really hard to build on combinations when you have a load of injuries."

And there was fresh injury misery for Bath, with Blackadder revealing that hooker Tom Dunn went off early in the contest after suffering a suspected broken ankle.

Quins led 12-9 entering the final quarter, but ultimately left the west country without even a losing bonus point.

"I am gutted," Quins rugby director John Kingston said.

"I felt the guys deserved as an absolute minimum a point out of the game, and for them to not come away with that is really hard to take.

"The team had been gathering momentum in the Premiership, so to come away with nothing - particularly in light of the effort the guys put in and how the game was played - was a bit harsh on them.

"There are seven (Premiership) games to go. Four of those are at home, where our record is terrific. You end up where you deserve to be and we will see where that is in May.

"You can't hide the fact we are missing a huge number of players. We are up to about 20 players now.

"But you are not going to get us moaning and groaning about that. What it means is it gives an opportunity for guys to step up and do the very best they can."


From Belfast Telegraph