Saffa boss has no regrets after Bath ‘B’ loss

Saffa boss has no regrets after Bath ‘B’ loss


Johann van Graan insisted he had no qualms about fielding a second-string team after defeat at Leicester meant Bath missed the chance to end 2023 top of the Premiership.

The Bath boss opted to rest several first-choice players, including Ollie Lawrence, Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell, regular captain Ben Spencer and Beno Obano on Sunday ahead of next week’s south-west derby against Gloucester.

But, a 35-22 defeat without a bonus point meant Bath remained fourth in the table, still just two points behind leaders Northampton.

Leicester took advantage against their under-strength opponents to score five tries, while Springbok World Cup-winner Handre Pollard landed four conversions and the Tigers were also awarded a penalty try.

SAFFAS ABROAD: Pollard on song to sink Bath

“I’ve no regrets about my decision as we’ve had 18 games in 17 weeks and I’ve rotated my squad from the opening game of the season,” said Van Graan.

“There are a number of teams in all of the European competitions that rotate their squad so we are no different.”

Victory saw Leicester move up to seventh in the 10-team table, with head coach Dan McKellar saying: “I was surprised by Bath’s selection as a lot of people would have loved to see Finn Russell here but Johann is a very experienced coach and knows what he’s doing and they were still a quality side.”

He added: “We needed the win to stay in touch in the league table and it’s important that we keep winning and build momentum.”

© Agence France-Presse

Photo: @BathRugby/Twitter


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