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Bath’s Matt Garvey craving a trophy finish for mentor Booth

Captain Matt Garvey insists Bath are “massively motivated” to send departing coaches Toby Booth and Darren Edwards away with some silverware.

Garvey found himself at the centre of a social media storm recently after tweeting his displeasure at disparaging comments from fans following the home Premiership Cup loss to Harlequins.

Last weekend’s follow-up defeat at Exeter meant Bath were without a win in six games following the club’s announcement in late September that assistant coaches Booth and Edwards would not be having their contracts renewed, while Stuart Hooper is being groomed to step into the shoes of rugby director Todd Blackadder when the Kiwi moves on.

Garvey refuted suggestions those announcements had a destabilising effect on players, telling The Rugby Paper: “I understand your point but I asked a few of the guys after the announcement was made what their thoughts were and it was received extremely positively.

“One of the players couldn’t believe that a club had been that open and he felt he needed to improve as a player to be part of that new future.

“But the overriding feeling was because of the relationship we’ve got with Toby Booth and Darren Edwards, it’s not that their messages are going to be diluted, it’s the complete opposite – we want to win something for them before they move on.

“It’s given us more incentive and we’re massively motivated to give something back to them and send them off in a style they deserve.

“As someone who’s worked with Boothy throughout my entire career at London Irish and Bath, I hope he’ll go on to bigger things and I’m sure he will because he’s an extremely talented guy.”

Go way back: Toby Booth, right, has been at Bath for the past six years (photo: Getty Images)

Bath tackle Worcester at home on Saturday knowing defeat would raise big questions over their ability to achieve a top four finish and compete in Europe.

Of his side’s poor recent run, Garvey said: “It’s been incredibly frustrating and there are so many games we’ve played that we should have won but didn’t.

“There was the headline one against Toulouse with Freddie Burns dropping the ball, but there were other reasons we lost that game and decisions didn’t go our way. Then at Wasps in the Champions Cup, to score 35 points away and not win was doubly disappointing.

“Gloucester at home, Exeter at home and Quins at home – we’ve played some good rugby but just not finished sides off.

“The really annoying thing is we feel like we’re making steps forward and those moments are costing us, but we’ll keep working hard to get it right.”

With key men Jonathan Joseph and Tom Dunn due back from injury, Garvey added: “You need that competition within the squad and having guys like JJ and Dunny back will provide some extra bite in training.

“We’re working hard at all aspects of our game and one example is our lineout where there’s been a huge improvement in our maul.

“We’ve scored some decent tries off the back of that and if we continue to make those improvements, some of which aren’t always obvious, I’m pretty confident we can go on and have a decent season and challenge for some silverware.”


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