Bath's Blackadder to leave for Japan at end of season

Todd Blackadder's Bath have won eight of their 19 Gallagher Premiership matches this season. Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Blackadder has been granted early release from his one-year contract extension and will join Japanese side Toshiba following the 2018-19 campaign.

The New Zealander joined the Premiership club in 2016 and helped achieve consecutive top-six finishes in his first two seasons in charge.

Bath are seventh in the Premiership table with just three matches of the season remaining but face a battle to make the top four and qualify for the playoffs. The club are five points behind fourth-placed Harlequins and also trail Wasps and Northampton in the Premiership table.

"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 in a statement.

"It might not be silverware but together we have built strong foundations and I leave knowing that the best is absolutely yet to come."

He added: "Our sights remain set on a top four finish and we are all intent on making this season our best one yet."

Bath travel to Sale this weekend before hosting Wasps at the Rec. They play Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on the final day of the season.