Geech leaves Bath a better club

Sir Ian McGeechan says Bath have moved forward during his tenure despite his imminent departure. [more]

Geech leaves Bath a better club

Sir Ian McGeechan says Bath have moved forward during his tenure despite his imminent departure.

The former Northampton, Wasps and Scotland boss, who led the Lions on their last tour of South Africa, is leaving his role as Bath’s director of rugby at the end of the season.

McGeechan admits times have been tough over recent months, with Bath having made little impact in Europe and now being in real danger of missing out on a Heineken Cup spot for next year, but he insists he leaves the West Country outfit in better shape than he found them.

"It's about having that perspective that just because three or four results didn't go our way, don't think that everything else isn't right," McGeechan told BBC Points West.

"Where we are now is a long way from where we were 18 months ago.

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"We've not had the best of luck with injuries and we're all hugely disappointed as a lot of the things that are in place probably mean three or four games going the other way would see everything falling nicely into place.

"I think we've come a long way in setting the standards and the right culture which in the end comes from the players and the dressing room.

"What I wanted was a bigger perspective. The environment we are operating in, the standards we've set and how people operate off the field as a support staff is very important.

"We're a few wins away from a significant change."

McGeechan will take on the position of head coach for the final three games of the season, starting with this Friday’s trip to Sale, but he insists his role at The Rec was always a little different to what most outsiders suggested.

Having been head coach on four Lions tours and an assistant on another, the 65-year-old arrived in Bath as performance director in 2010 before becoming director of rugby when Steve Meehan was shown the door at the end of last season.

But McGeechan was never the main man when it came to carry out the coaching, with Meehan, then Martin Haag and Brad Davies leading the sessions.

"I was only here in a part-time role to look at the rugby structures and quite clearly they knew I didn't want to come as a head coach," added McGeechan.

"With Steve leaving last year I said that I would support the coaches closely but didn't want to have that role.

"A recommendation from me was that we needed a head coach and that's why the process was started after Christmas. I've made recommendations over what the structure should look like and I've been right about them in the past."

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