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RUGBY: Hatley puts team development above early-season pointers
FORWARDS coach Neal Hatley is refusing to read too much into Bath’s promising start to the campaign.
A clinical victory on the opening night of the season at rain-soaked Newcastle was followed by an eye-catching triumph over champions Leicester last weekend.
Continuing their unbeaten starts at Saracens on Sunday would be a result to really make the rest of the Premiership sit up and take notice, but Hatley insists such thoughts are far from the minds of his squad.
“You’re talking about game three in a 40-week season, so it’s probably more important for us as a squad than anything else,’’ he told the Wiltshire Times.
“We’re still a young squad in many respects and the players are still discovering what they are capable of.
“We’re going up against the top team in the country at the moment and it’s not getting any easier for us.
“We have to make sure we turn up physically and mentally. Saracens have a massive squad with a lot of depth and they work unbelievably hard.
“We have to make sure we match that.’’
Ross Batty is recovering from concussion sustained against Leicester while Bath were also monitoring prop Nathan Catt’s fitness, meaning Wiltshire youngster Tom Dunn could come into contention.
Bath United’s early form – they have won two out of two in the A League including a 31-22 win at Harlequins on Monday – has also pleased Hatley.
“The likes of Matt Gilbert, Tom Biggs, Charlie Beech and Kane Palma-Newport all have put their hands up,’’ he added.
“It makes it a pain in the backside in selection meetings, but it’s exactly the scenario we wanted.’’
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