BATH RUGBY: ‘Tigers test will show our mettle’

Wiltshire Times: Toby Booth Toby Booth

BATH coach Toby Booth says that reigning champions Leicester are still the litmus test for the rest of the Aviva Premiership.

Bath make the trip to Welford Road on Sunday to take on the Tigers, looking to bounce back from their 40-25 defeat at top-four rivals Northampton last weekend.

Booth’s men saw their 11-match winning run come to an end at Northampton but the Rec coach declared himself pleased with the his side’s campaign so far as they prepare for a tussle with the champions.

“I think with what Leicester are associated with, as a team that’s been to repeated Grand Finals since its existence; Leicester is the benchmark for everybody,” said Booth.

“I’m sure they’re very pleased with their reputation and the respect they’re given and as everyone finds out, you know how good you are as a side and the progress you’ve made by how well you play at Welford Road.

“We spoke about this group of three games – Quins, Northampton and Leicester – being an acid test to see where we are.

“You always need directional feedback about what you need to work on and how you’re doing with the big boys.

“We are aspiring to get ourselves up in that upper tier and now we have a good sense of reality of where we are on that journey.

“The Premiership is a very tough competition and we know that week in, week out, you have to be at your best to give yourself the best chance – on the whole, we’ve done that, which is really encouraging.

“We’re very positive about certain aspects but we need to make sure that we defend better. Our aim is to score points every week and we’ve got to ensure that we’re strong in all facets of the game to allow that to be enough.

“We are halfway. What we’ve done until now we’re pleased with on the whole but we know we’ve got plenty more improving, both collectively and individually to do.”

Loosehead prop Davey Wilson won’t be involved in Sunday’s trip to Welford Road but Semesa Rokoduguni and Guy Mercer could return.

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