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Tom Tainton


Posted Wednesday, February 14th 2018

Jonathan Thomas appointed interim forwards coach

Jonathan Thomas will take over as forwards coach for the remainder of the season.

With Mark Bakewell’s departure to Leicester Tigers now confirmed, the 35 year-old former Wales international assumes the interim role.

Academy forwards coach Mark Irish becomes interim first team scrum coach, while head coach Pat Lam will oversee the defence.

“I’m really excited by the potential of both Jonathan [Thomas] and Mark [Irish], I believe that they will be world class coaches,” said Lam.

“Jonathan has plenty of experience with the set piece, especially in the lineout from his playing roles in the international set-up, so we’re looking forward to seeing the impact he will have with the forwards.

Mark Irish takes over a first team scrum coach (JMP UK).

“Mark has done fantastic work with the Academy, so it makes perfect sense for him to come through and lead our scrummaging.

"The important thing in our vision is that there is a pathway for coaches and staff, not just players. We want people with drive and ambition to work in our organisation and we want to be able to help them achieve their goals.

“Both these guys have that desire to be the best and this is an excellent opportunity for them as they take over until the end of the season."