ROSS Batty is eager to make up for lost time by helping Bath lift two pieces of silverware this season.

The long-serving hooker pulled on a blue, black and white jersey for the first time this season as Bath defeated Ospreys 32-19 last Friday to book a place in the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Northampton Saints, the side they entertain in the last four in a month’s time, also pay a visit the Rec this evening as Todd Blackadder’s men seek a victory that would lift them back into the Aviva Premiership play-off places.

After undergoing a neck operation that sidelined him for seven months, Batty is delighted to be back on front-row duty again and says there is everything to play for as Bath aim to add to their trophy cabinet for the first time in a decade.

“We’ve shown our intent in the Anglo-Welsh Cup with the sides we’ve put out and now we’re through to the semis-finals,” said the 31-year-old.

“Why wouldn’t we now want to go on and lift some silverware? It’s a brilliant habit to develop.

“We’ve got a really talented squad and are pushing to improve. We have reached semi-finals and finals in recent seasons and now we’ve got to try and go the extra step and win one of them.”

Batty was plagued by neck and nerve problems during the close season and was forced to endure a frustrating period on the sidelines before he finally made his 150th appearance for the club at the Liberty Stadium.

“It’s a nice milestone but it took a lot longer to reach than I thought, having made my 149th appearance against Sale at the end of last season,” said Batty, who signed for Bath in 2010.

“I was told the nerve needed time to settle down and didn’t want to go under the chopping block too soon, but in the end an op was needed and originally I was only supposed to be out for three months, but it took seven.

“First and foremost, we won, and it was nice to be able to play a part. My set-piece was good and I made a few carries, so I was happy with how it went and am looking forward to the rest of the season now.”

Tonight’s visitors Northampton parted company with director of rugby Jim Mallinder in December, replacing him with Alan Gaffney just after Christmas. Despite their lowly league position, Batty expects a tough test from a side who beat Bath 26-6 in the reverse fixture back in September.

“They’ll want to keep their identity and will be a big, physical team who will be out to prove themselves,” said Batty.

“We have some momentum going into this four-game block of Premiership fixtures and it’s a situation we want to take hold of and really firm up our place in the top four.”