The Premiership Rugby Cup makes its return this weekend as Bath Rugby head to Gloucester Rugby on Friday with a youthful side in order to develop the club’s young players in the Academy and senior squad.
Ahead of Round 8 of the Gallagher Premiership against Leicester Tigers, Bath Rugby Unseen looked at the opportunities for our homegrown players with 11 in total taking to the field at Welford Road – five of which who are currently in the Senior Academy.
Thompson Cowan was one of those and made his senior debut for the Blue, Black and White and in episode 13, powered by Dyson, the back rower reflects on his first senior outing and the chance to impress in the Premiership Rugby Cup with many of his Academy teammates.
“Playing in front of a big crowd… I was a little bit nervous before I came on,” he said.
“When I got on to the pitch it was just a rugby game so it was less daunting and I really enjoyed it.”
Cowan added: “There probably hasn’t been many opportunities for quite a few of the young lads. I was quite lucky with injuries and international duty to get my call up.
"I think the Premiership Rugby Cup will really help us play at a level where we can show ourselves and give us that exposure.”
Gabriel Hamer-Webb has previously played in this tournament and has shown his expertise at senior level when given the chance in a Bath jersey over the past few years.
A committed member of the squad who has helped the senior players prepare meticulously for each Premiership match so far this campaign, the wing is relishing the chance to get out on the field this weekend.
He said: “This opportunity for the young players is great. Boys who haven’t played in quite a while are finally getting out there and are all itching to play; I know I’m itching to play.
“We want to show off how hard we’ve been working at Farleigh and really put that into practice.”
As well as the development of young players, the Premiership Rugby Cup offers an opportunity for growth in the coaching department with Mark Lilley stepping up to lead the team, assisted by Ryan Davis and Luke Charteris.
Skills coach Davis is grateful for the chance of more responsibility.
“At the moment my role is amongst skills and supporting Dave (Williams) with the attack but it’s a great opportunity to take the reins, design training, make sure that design practice is good, make sure that we’re linking our meetings to the messages and what we want to get out on Friday night.
“As a development tool it’s exactly what we need.
"We can then reflect in a couple of weeks time to see where we can get better. All round for the youngsters and us as coaches, young coaches, it’s a great game.”
BATH RUGBY UNSEEN EPISODES