Aviva Premiership
Gary Gold confirms Bath switch
ESPN Staff
May 7, 2012
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Gary Gold, Newcastle Falcons v London Irish, Aviva Premiership, Kingston Park, Newcastle, England, February 18, 2012
Gary Gold impressred during his recent stint with Newcastle but was unable to lift them off the foot of the table © Getty Images
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Former Newcastle boss Gary Gold has confirmed he will make a swift return to the Aviva Premiership as Bath's new director of rugby.

Gold, who completed a four-year stint as an assistant coach with South Africa at the recent Rugby World Cup, parted company with the Falcons at the weekend having spent the last four months trying to keep them in the Premiership. The 44-year-old also revealed that he has been talking to Bath for several months and is now poised to be officially unveiled as the replacement for Sir Ian McGeechan who left The Rec at the end of the season.

Former England defence coach Mike Ford is earmarked to join Gold at the Recreation Ground along with London Irish duo Toby Booth and Neil Hatley completing Bath's new-look coaching team alongside Brad Davis.

"I'm really excited and I'm taking some good coaches with me as well," Gold told Ballz Visual Radio. "Bath is a wonderful place and the west country in England is really the heart of rugby in the UK so I am really relishing the challenge."

Looking to the future, Gold added: "It's a magnificent club and they have a new owner who has put his life and soul into the club. If you have a look at the facilities they have, they are ridiculously privileged, it's fantastic. They have everything they need and there is no excuse for the club not to be successful."

A former head coach of Western Province, Gold initially returned to the Premiership stage in January having also previously guided London Irish. As the Falcons' interim director of rugby, he was tasked with keeping them up but despite a significant revival, a 14-10 victory over their fellow strugglers Wasps was not enough to lift them off the foot of the table.

Gold also expressed his gratitude to the Falcons, adding: "The chance to become interim coach at Newcastle was outstanding and it was a good opportunity to go back to the Premiership and see what the game's like over there."

Gold will now hand over the reins at Kingston Park to Dean Richards, whose three-year worldwide coaching ban imposed for his part in the Harlequins Bloodgate saga expires this summer. Current Falcons forwards specialist John Wells looks set to be retained as Richards' assistant.

Bath's Premiership campaign petered out with a 28-3 defeat at title-chasing Leicester, meaning an eighth-place finish after winning just nine Premiership games. They also failed to secure Heineken Cup qualification for next term, ending five points adrift of the crucial top six positions filled by Harlequins, Leicester, Saracens, Northampton, Exeter and Sale Sharks.

Bath's multi-millionaire chairman Bruce Craig is anxious for a revival, and he will fervently hope that Gold can show a Midas touch that almost resulted in Newcastle climbing off the Premiership basement against all odds.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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