Stephen Donald has no plans to leave Bath

World Cup-winner Stephen Donald admits he has no plans for an immediate return to New Zealand despite a disappointing start to his life in Bath.

Donald, who landed the winning penalty as the All Blacks won the Webb Ellis trophy in October, has had some ‘frank conversations’ with Bath after failing to make an impact since arriving at The Rec.

Much was expected from the 28-year-old after he agreed to make the switch from the Chiefs, however with arrival being delayed due to the World Cup and injuries, Donald has yet to live up to expectation.

Despite rumours suggesting that he could cut his losses and head back to New Zealand at the end of the season, Donald claims he is fully committed to the Bath cause.

“My contract is for three years so I am looking forward to next season,” Donald told Sky Sports.

“It will be good to get a good pre-season under my belt as it is probably something I need.”

Donald had initially been overlooked for New Zealand’s World Cup squad – but he was left in limbo after being named in a retained back-up squad, preventing him from joining Bath in time for the new season.

Injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade saw him eventually called up, and with Aaron Cruden also suffering the curse of the No.10 in the final -Donald came on after 33 minutes to write his name in the record books.

Despite going from the highs of World Cup glory to the lows of a disappointing domestic campaign, Donald insists he is happy at The Rec.

“Obviously result-wise it has been frustrating and we’ve not achieved what we set out to achieve but I’ve loved the change of scene,” he said.

“Bath is a great city and we’ve a superb bunch of guys here but for whatever reason we’ve just not managed to string together the results.”

Donald believes the side’s failure to win close matches as well as injuries to key men has hit Bath this season.

“If we had all the answers to where it has all gone wrong this season then we wouldn’t be where we are but we’ve not closed out the tight matches and not competed for long enough in the big games,” he said.

“Against the likes of Saracens we have done well for long periods and then fallen away and I guess that once you are in a rut it is hard to turn things around.

“We have also struggled to get a settled XV out on the pitch. We’ve had injuries – I’ve been out for 10 weeks, while Francois Louw is out for the season – and Lewis Moody retired but it is the same at a lot of clubs so we can’t use that as an excuse.”

While Donald is looking ahead to bouncing back next season, there will be a new coaching team in place with Sir Ian McGeechan and Martin Haag moving on.

And Donald admitted: “It wasn’t expected at all. It has been tough on the guys as they all got on well with Geech and Haagy. Haagy is a Bath man through and through as well.

“However it is a professional sport and these things unfortunately happen.

“As players we don’t have any input into what goes on behind the scenes so all we can do is make sure that we finished the season in the best possible fashion.”