The University of Bath will go into the next round of fixtures off the back of four wins out of seven games, which sees them placed third in the BUCS Super league table. The University of Bath are just two points from first place Hartpury, and one point below second place Cardiff Met as they face Durham at home on Wednesday 21st November.
The Bath Rugby partnership programme with the University of Bath is a key strand of the Club's player and coach development strategy and there are lots of positive signs coming from the programme during the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
Commenting upon the season so far and the role of the partnership, Academy Manager Andy Rock was keen to highlight the growing stature of the competition and the way it is supporting player development:
“The frequency of games and competitiveness of them this season within BUCS Super Rugby has been the perfect platform for a number of our young developing players. We have the University of Bath training with us here at Farleigh House every week in preparation for their games, and to see how the Partnership is flourishing under Aaron James as Head of Rugby at the University, and how the players are developing under a coaching team of Mark Lilley and Louis Messer is amazing, it’s all grown so positively in the last 16-18 months”.
Recent appearances for the Bath Rugby First Team in the Premiership Cup for Bath Academy players and University of Bath Students Miles Reid and Jack Davies has seen them gain valuable experience, and they are both in line to return to BUCS Super Rugby ready for the Hartpury fixture on Wednesday 28th of November. Bath Academy Player Olly Cattell is also nearing a return to action following his rehabilitation from a knee injury against Gloucester back in September in the Premiership Shield.
The mixture of competitive opportunities and playing experiences is also seen to be a big positive by Rock:
“This sort of competition programme is perfect for so many of our developing players. To test themselves in a competition such as the Premiership Cup has been great for Jack and Miles, and they have both really impressed us. We expect to see them go out and support the University of Bath take further positive steps in their season in the coming weeks. There’ll be an expectation of them to both perform to the same levels as in previous weeks and to make a real impact, which we are looking forward to them doing. It’s important that they learn to deal with that pressure to perform, and their presence back in and around training and hopefully the match day squad in weeks to come should only be positive”.
After the next five games there will be a mid-semester break, and a month long gap between fixtures. Bath United will be, however, playing in the Premiership Shield over the Christmas Period, which will see a number of Bath Academy and University of Bath Students continue their development in another competition in the Blue Black and White.
Upcoming University of Bath fixtures:
Durham (H) – 21st November 2018
Hartpury (A) - 28th November 2018
Loughborough (A) – 5th December 2018
Hartpury (H) – 12th December 2018
Leeds Beckett (A) – 19th December 2018