The Premiership's not over but already the coaching merry-go-round has got Gail Davis' head spinning!
Last Updated: 30/04/10 1:40pm
The Premiership season is still a month away from it's finale but already the changes to the coaching set ups for next year have begun.
I'm not sure too many were surprised to see Mike Ruddock hand in his resignation at Worcester following the club's relegation and an unsavoury incident that followed the defeat to Leeds between two of the players' fathers.
The search has already begun for his replacement and the former Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan is the early favourite to take over. Ryan is a hard taskmaster, a very different character to Ruddock, but certain fans believe he's exactly what's required for a side that appeared lacklustre at Leeds despite their Premiership status depending on winning.
Sale moved quickly to move Kingsley Jones upstairs following the club's survival and Jason Robinson's brief spell in coaching is, for the moment, over. His appointment was always going to be a bit of a gamble and it's one many Sale fans believe didn't pay off: "Conspicuous by his absence" was one assessment of the World Cup winner's contribution.
In comes former All Black Mike Brewer to take over and if Jones was in anyway unsure of his role next season Brewer spelt it out to him: "What we can't have is the players answering to two masters." So it's strategy and the academy for Jones after only a year in charge.
Quite why Bath need a new director of rugby is probably beyond anybody who has watched the side perform in recent weeks, but the rumours that have been circulating for months are persisting and the arrival of a new owner Bruce Craig, along with his very deep pockets, has only increased the speculation that Sir Ian McGeechan can be tempted to have one last hurrah in club rugby before retiring.
His role wouldn't affect the job Steve Meehan is doing - and what a job that's been in recent months. The club were flirting with relegation at the turn of the year but they've taken a leaf out of McGeechan's old club Wasps' book of late runs, and 10 wins out of 11 have seen the club climb to fourth playing some breathtaking rugby.
At times at Twickenham in front of over 60, 000 fans Bath looked unstoppable but weren't we saying that about Barcelona and a certain Lionel Messi a few weeks ago! The problem for the West Country side is that if they beat Leeds on the final day then it looks like they'll meet their old nemesis Leicester in the semi-final.
In fact, between Worcester's relegation, talk of what an incredible job that Neil Back - along with Andy Key - has done as Leeds, salary caps and Danny Cipriani talking up his chances of being picked by England this summer and his return to Wasps before he's even left, it's been easy to forget this is a Heineken Cup weekend.
There won't be many rugby fans left in Ireland this weekend with Munster supporters heading to San Sebastian and Leinster's army to Toulouse. Munster as they did against Northampton in the quarter-finals will have to do it without their inspirational Captain Paul O'Connell when they play Biarritz on Sunday.
The French side have had their injury problems too, the loss of Damien Traille is a huge blow but the return of Imanol Harinordoquy is massive. The inspirational Basque number eight, hugely influential in France's Grand Slam win, hopes he can help Biarritz, the only side in the last four not to win the Heineken Cup, realise their European dream. Oh, and of course after that defeat to Munster in the 2006 final there's probably a fair amount of revenge to be extracted at the Estadio Anoeta too!
Leinster have their injury problems; Jonny Sexton, so influential in the quarter final against Clermont Auvergne, looks set to miss the clash with a broken jaw. Sexton kept his head in that game when the pressure was on whilst his opposing fly-half Brock James lost his and the huge responsibility of pulling on Leinster's number 10 shirt falls on Shaun Berne.
Toulouse are the old masters and their second half performance against Stade Francais in the last round was near perfect, the omission of Sexton seems to swing the tie back in the French side's favour but Leinster have been here before and that day they pulled out a sensational 41-35 quarter-final win against Toulouse at Le Stadium in 2006.
And that's why we'll all be glued to the TV on Saturday afternoon...