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BATH RUGBY: Ryan mighty again as Caldwell returns
VISITING Newport Gwent Dragons are unlikely to be the only ones breathing fire in tomorrow’s Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Bath at the Rec.
While the Welsh raiders would like nothing more than to lower English colours on their own turf, the home side’s own ‘Mr Angry’ has his own business to take care of.
Lock Ryan Caldwell was christened with the affectionate moniker by forwards coach Neal Hatley this week, a reflection on the big Ulsterman’s contribution in training as he continues his comeback after eight months of injury frustration.
The 29-year-old Ulsterman appeared off the bench in last weekend’s opening pool win in Bordeaux and, free from the hip injury that had sidelined him since January and required surgery, Caldwell admits there was no holding him back.
“When I came on all I wanted to do was get the ball in my hands and have a run at someone,’’ he said.
“I feel really good and I’m chomping at the bit to get out at the Rec again on Saturday. I was out for such a long time and the last few months in particular, when there starts to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, are tough.
“As I my confidence grows, I want to get back to the way I was playing before.’’
Caldwell’s return has been a timely one, recent injuries to Dave Attwood, Dominic Day and club captain Stuart Hooper stretching the club’s second row resources, but he knows that long-term, earning a regular starting shirt is likely to be his biggest battle.
“Their misfortune has been good for me and given me an opportunity to get back, but I’m under no illusion there is serious quality in our side now and it’s going to bring out the best in everyone involved,’’ he added.
“To be a starter or involved in the squad on a Saturday you need to be punching at 100 per cent.
“The coaches have recruited well this year. It’s a big squad and it’s a big squad full of quality. It’s up to the players. We all know what we want to get out of it and want to prove that we are a force to be reckoned with, because we do believe that here.’’
- BATH are making the Dragons clash a family affair, with fun for all ages.
For younger supporters there will be bouncy castles and a huge inflatable assault coursem, while a happy hour will run from 1-2pm, with pints of Thatchers and Wadworth at just £2.50.
There will also be a Tom Jones tribute act singing live as the festivities really kick into gear. With our Welsh counterparts coming to town, we just couldn’t resist! Tickets are by calling 08444481865 .
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