Bath Rugby coach Toby Booth looking forward to Matt Banahan reunion
New Bath Rugby coach Toby Booth is looking forward to being reunited with Matt Banahan at The Rec next season.
The 25-year-old lined up in the back row under Booth for the London Irish academy side before going on to establish himself in the backs for Bath – his ability to play at wing and centre earning him a place in England’s 2011 World Cup squad.
Despite his considerable stature, Banahan has found it hard to hold down a regular place in the England set-up of late and has been frozen out of the international reckoning since Stuart Lancaster took the reins late last year.
“I do know a few of the guys at Bath already, Matt Banahan obviously, Nick Abendanon, Dave Wilson and a couple of others,” said Booth.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Thisi is Dyson's smallest upright vacuum cleaner with the performance of a full size upright machine. The DC50i has Dyson's most advanced cleaner head technology and 2 Tier RadialTM cyclones.
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
“Matt is the one I know best because I brought him to London Irish as a second row a long time ago, although I won’t be moving him back there now. He was only a youngster then but he possesses a more unique physical presence then pretty much anyone so it will be interesting to see how we splice it all together.
“That’s the exciting thing of going to somewhere new. But he is clearly someone I’m looking forward to working with again and trying to use those physical attributes he has as much possible with Bath.”
Booth is one member of an almost completely new coaching set-up at Bath, with the former Exiles man joining Gary Gold, ex-England defence coach Mike Ford and his old colleague at the Madejski Stadium, Neal Hatley, in moving to The Rec in May.
And he admits it will be an uncertain time for everyone – Banahan included – over the next few months.
“We need to plan for our long-term future, even at Irish I still had people who I didn’t sign so you do inherit a lot and part of that is assessment of which people contribute,” Booth added.
“The challenge for Gary and the coaches going forward is who can deliver the game that Gary wants to play. That will be what takes precedence in addition to the playing performance in the short-term.
“We’re all starting from a fresh piece of paper so we’ll see where that takes them.”
Booth is also aiming to recreate old club London Irish’s prolific academy set-up at Bath.
One of the most impressive aspects of his Booth’s CV was his creation of a conveyer belt of young talent at the Exiles – one that produced the likes of England internationals Delon Armitage and Jonathan Joseph.
“We want to develop our own youngsters because they have an affinity to the club and a greater attachment. Danny Grewcock has done a fantastic job with the academy,” said Booth.
“Neal Hatley has done a great job at Irish and we want to replicate the quality and frequency with which we get players through, because they are more emotionally connected as well as being more cost-effective from a business point of view.
“You want to grow your own as much as possible. I’ve had a good track record of being involved in that and I’ll try to help Danny, as Neal will, because ultimately we want to develop a home-grown club playing in a certain style and a certain way because that’s what people want to watch.
“Every club is different and people have their own ways of doing things but now is about establishing the Bath way going forward. We’ve got an ambitious club, a town club, and over the two or three-year period we’re looking to make Bath more competitive.”
The JP Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series kicks off on July 13 at Harlequins, with rounds at Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby, and the final at Bath Rugby. Visit: www.jpmorgan7s.com to find out more.