28 May 2014, 2:11pm
As the 2013/14 season draws to a close, we caught up with three of the boys who have just finished their first season with Bath Rugby to see how they felt the season had gone.
First up, the back row juggernaut who was named our Players' Player of the Year, and who also happens to be the most smiley man in rugby – Leroy Houston.
"I've massively enjoyed my first season with Bath. I'm loving the bunch of boys here and the combinations are working really well. I have never played with such a high-ranking forward unit. In the front row there are international players from one to three, then we have got guys on the bench who have played internationals. Our second rows are awesome and every position has got a lead aspect to it - and I think every back rower in the Bath team is capable of starting for any team in the Aviva Premiership.
"The expectations we had at the beginning of the season have gone through the roof as we've gone along, and we're loving the way we are playing – we've improved so much as the season has gone on. I think at the start of the year we just were trying to get used to everyone's combinations - I was actually watching the games from the start of the year the other day, and seeing how much we have evolved and improved was really good – you realise that all the hard work is worth it. Obviously we didn't finish the season the way we would have liked, but we've got a really good foundation in place to push on from in coming seasons.
"Working as closely as I do with them, I've been massively impressed with my back row colleagues. I was quite disappointed for Carl Fearns not getting in the Saxons team or getting mentioned around that, especially as he was awesome in the weeks leading up to those choices - and Matt Garvey as well. Those two are good workhorses. And it has been outstanding to play with Francois Louw – he's such a top player, I rate him as one of the best number sevens in the world. He's awesome to work with, leading just by what he does on the field.
"We have some great young talent in the ranks at Bath, and they're only going to keep improving. Anthony Watson is a young guy has amazing feet. The way he moves with the ball in hand - I wish I had that kind of talent! He has been outstanding all season, as has George Ford. To be 21 and have that old soul of a rugby player, to lead a team around, he's been excellent. Even though he is young you look up to him and respect him.
"There's still work to be done, but if we keep on improving then who knows what the season ahead may have in store for us! We're really looking forward to it, that's for sure!"
Don't miss out on what's set to be a blockbuster season at the Rec. Season tickets are currently open for renewals until 20th June before going on general sale from 1st July onwards. You can download the 2014/15 season ticket brochure here.