Former Newcastle boss to join Bath

GARY Gold has tonight revealed he will join Aviva Premiership side Bath next season.

The South African, who has spent the last four months as interim coach at Newcastle Falcons in a bid to keep them in the top flight, told Ballz Visual Radio he will make the switch to the West Country to fill the void left by departing director of rugby, Sir Ian McGeechan.

Speaking to the South African radio station, Gold said of his new coaching role: "It's been a long road. We've been talking for six months already.

"There's a good opportunity to go back to the Premiership and see what the game's like over there. It's a great privilege and I'm really excited.

"(Bath have) got a new owner and he's really put his heart and soul into the club. I'm really excited and I'm taking some pretty good coaches with me.

"Bath is a wonderful place and the West Country in England is really the heart of rugby in the UK. I'm really relishing the challenge."

Gold was part of South Africa's coaching staff at the World Cup in New Zealand last autumn and admitted it was a tough decision to leave the national set-up.

"As you know I loved my time with the Springboks," Gold said, "But it's time to move on. I'll miss it terribly because they're an unbelievable group of people."

McGeechan took charge of Bath for the last time on Saturday when they were beaten 28-3 by Leicester Tigers at Welford Road, leaving them eighth in the overall standings.

Gold makes the move to the south west following his spell in interim charge of Newcastle.

He took the reins at the Falcons in January and was tasked with ensuring their Premiership survival, however they finished the regular season in last place and must now wait to see if they will be relegated.

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