RUGBY: Watson vows not to come up short again

Wiltshire Times: Bath's Anthony Watson Bath's Anthony Watson

OCCASIONS such as Sunday’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final at Adams Park are precisely the sort of days that tempted Anthony Watson to head down the M4 from London Irish to join Bath last summer.

By any yardstick, the 20 year old has enjoyed a stellar first campaign at the Rec, his performances for his club earning him a place among England’s squad during the Six Nations Championship as well as an England Saxons bow during the winter.

Helping his country to the U20 Six Nations title and the IRB Junior World Championship prior to his arrival at Bath were early high points in the exciting threequarter’s career but, at the end of a season that has nurtured such promise for his club, Watson has underlined the desire to emerge from the campaign with a tangible reward.

“I haven’t had the luxury of playing in a European semi-final and it’s been one of our goals,’’ he said.

“We want to reward the supporters with some silverware.

“We had the disappointment of losing the LV= Cup semi final (to Exeter) and we’ve got another massive opportunity to get to a final.’’

That loss to the Chiefs came in the middle of a little wobble of three defeats in four games for Bath, but they have since re-established themselves with three successive wins, the latest a bonus-point Aviva Premiership success against relegation-threatened Worcester Warriors, sending them into Sunday’s cup showdown with hosts London Wasps in good heart.

Watson added: “You can’t really knock a bonus-point win in the Premiership but as a group we’re always striving to be the best we can be.

“They (Worcester) really did push us to the wire and that will probably help us longer term. We showed a lot of courage to come through.

“Wasps are on the back of a great win against Gloucester and they will have a lot of confidence, but so will we.

“For the last five or six weeks, you need to have that little bit more intensity to add that one or two per cent that is going to make the difference. Everyone has got that buzz about training.

“As a team we’ve come on this season and we’re hoping for some silverware at the end of it.’’ Club captain Stuart Hooper hopes his side can again count on a travelling support in good voice.

He said: “Our travelling support will be huge for the team, as they always are.

“Even at away games our supporters get there early and are there when we go out to warm up.

“It makes you realise what great support we've got, and it's a huge bonus for us when things are getting tough out there to hear them shouting and cheering – they make all the difference.’’

NEWS FROM BATH'S AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP SEMI FINAL AGAINST WASPS AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT ON SUNDAY

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