BATH director of rugby Todd Blackadder knows he must address his side’s away day issues if they are to be achieving his ambition of contending for silverware this season.

Despite sitting third last season on home form, winning nine of 11 games, they managed only three victories on the road, leaving them sixth in those standings.

As a result, Blackadder and his team have put a lot of time in the close season into finding a cure, with all their pre-season games being played away from The Rec.

However, with their first Premiership game of the season this weekend away at Welford Road, where they face Leicester Tigers, Blackadder is all too aware that this will be a stern test of the work put in following his first full pre-season in charge.

“We want to be in a position where we are fighting for silverware,” he said, having seen his side finish a place outside the play-offs last season and losing in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup to Stade Français.

“Last year we came so close, we don’t want to be one of those nearly teams.

“We want to go one better.

“The key for us will be that away form; just that inconsistency.

“We’ve got a really poor away record, so all our preseason games have been away, the first league game is going to be away.

“You should play the same rugby you do at home as away, I just don’t understand the mentality and we’ve spent a huge chunk of pre-season addressing the culture side of our highs and lows.

“We’ve had a pretty robust review of our game, changed a lot of things but we haven’t been put under pressure and I’m excited about that.”

Meanwhile, marquee signing Freddie Burns looks to be in contention to start against his former club, despite missing much of pre-season through concussion protocol, following his summer switch from Welford Road, with George Ford heading in the other direction.

“He’ll be straight in,” said Blackadder, who will also have the likes of Anthony Joshua and Taulupe Faletau at his disposal after they had extra time off to recover from their exploits with the British Lions.

“Him and Rhys (Priestland) are vying for a spot – we haven’t made that decision yet.

“We’ve got to trust our systems and he has come through with flying colours so he will be good to go (against Leicester).

“Work has been put into the Lions lads, they are ready to go.”

Bath have recruited seven players ahead of the new season but Blackadder has not ruled out further additions to his squad, with back row Guy Mercer moving to Ospreys on loan on Wednesday.

He said: “We’re still working on a few things.”

“We’re still in that space of, when we know, you’ll know.

“We’ve been trying to look out for the first person for a long time. Instead of spending money unwisely, you’d rather wait until the right person came in.”