NATHAN Catt is in line to rack up a century of Bath appearances this weekend, and the prop admits the atmosphere at the Rec has never felt more positive than it does now.

With Paul James away with Wales over the past month, the door was open for Catt to stake his claim for a starting spot in the front row.

The 26-year-old did exactly that, helping Bath maintain their semi-final push, so much so that forwards coach Neal Hatley insists he has played his way into contention for England’s summer tour of New Zealand.

Before that Catt knows there is still plenty to play for, with five rounds of the Aviva Premiership left to go, starting with tonight’s visit of Sale, in which he could be making his 100th appearance for the club.

With Bath flying high in the table Catt, who made his debut back in 2008, admits the mood around the place has never been better.

“Fingers crossed I should make my 100th appearance for Bath this weekend and it will be a hugely proud moment for me and one I am really looking forward to,” he said.

“I am pretty local to the club and have been here a long time so to make my milestone at the Rec will be a fantastic achievement.

“Obviously since I have been playing Bath has won a European trophy and reached a Premiership semi-final but I think it has never felt more positive than it does now.

“Everyone is buying into what we are doing and there is a real bond in the squad. For a while we have been building the right environment and now you can see that we have done that.

“We are heading in the right direction both on and off the pitch and hopefully that can continue this season.”

Catt could fine himself coming face to face with a future teammate this evening, with Bath-bound Henry Thomas likely to pack down in the Sharks’ front row.

“Potentially, he could be my opposite number and I’ve played against him a few times,’’ added Catt.

“He’s playing very well and seems to be getting better and better and so are Sale.’’