Bath have announced director of rugby Todd Blackadder will leave the club in the summer.
The New Zealander will conclude a three-year stay in the West Country come the end of this season after agreeing to become the new coach of Japan Top League side Toshiba Brave Lupus.
In a shock move, Blackadder has expedited his exit at the Rec after the club announced in September its long-term plans regarding its coaching structure.
As part of a reshuffle Blackadder committed to a one-year contract extension through to 2020 with former captain Stuart Hooper ready to take over the reins for the 2020-21 season.
But Blackadder has chosen to pursue the challenge in the World Cup host nation, and joins assistant coaches Toby Booth and Darren Edwards in leaving the Rec this summer.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to lead the Blue, Black and White for the past three years and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved,” Blackadder said.
“It might not be silverware but together we have built strong foundations and I leave knowing that the best is absolutely yet to come.”
Hooper’s position has not been confirmed by Bath, who say their plans for next season will be determined in the coming weeks.
The Blue, Black and White remain in the frame for the Premiership play-offs, lying five points behind Gloucester in fourth with three matches left to play.
Though their first priority must be securing a top six finish in order to qualify for the Champions Cup.
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