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RUGBY: Bath are in good nick
5:00pm Friday 1st February 2013 in Sport
NICK Abendanon insists Bath Rugby have the manpower to challenge on all fronts after watching two debutants come up trumps against Exeter Chiefs in the LV= Cup this weekend.
The LV= Cup is often used by Aviva Premiership clubs to blood in youngsters, but for Bath there were some more familiar faces making their debuts.
England international Rob Webber was in the number two shirt after finally recovering from shoulder trouble, while Ireland’s most-capped scrum-half Peter Stringer among the replacements.
And the duo certainly played their part in a 16-6 victory over the Chiefs, especially Stringer who came off the bench to score both Bath’s tries.
The victory keeps Bath’s LV= Cup semi-final hopes alive while they still have the Aviva Premiership to worry about as well as an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Stade Francais to look forward to.
But full-back Abendanon believes the performances of Bath’s latest debutants proves they have what it takes to wage war on several fronts.
“It was good to see the little fella [Stringer] diving over for a brace of tries,” Abendanon said. “It is always hard coming to a new club but he has fitted in well and everyone was really pleased for him.
“He brings a whole lot of experience as although he looks 12 he is 35 and that amount of knowledge and experience will prove very useful.
“And it was a long time coming but great to see Rob in a Bath shirt. He has had a bit of a shocking start coming to the club with shoulder injuries but is a top lad and a great guy to have around the club.
“He put in a lot of hard work and deserved it and although he was blowing by the end he did well and it was good to see.
“Having these guys available will only make us stronger as we get into the business end of the season and they are great additions to have around.”
Saturday’s victory maintained Bath’s unbeaten record over West Country rivals Exeter, with the club no turning their attentions to another local side in Gloucester Rugby tomorrow (2pm).
And Abendanon is urging for more of the same as he looks to finally get his Kingsholm monkey of his back.
“We haven’t really given the Bath fans too much to shout about in the last couple of years against Gloucester so even though it is in the LV= Cup it would be good to finally change that,” he added.
“I have never actually won at Kingsholm so it would be nice to get the result personally and put that behind me.
“I think the one time the boys did win at Kingsholm while I have been at Bath I was injured in the warm up so hopefully my luck will change.”
The LV= Cup. Watch the next generation break through. For tickets and info, visit www.lv.com/rugby