Bath Rugby’s Nathan Charles is looking to make an instant impression, as the Australian makes his debut for the Club against Brive in the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter-Final tomorrow at the Recreation Ground, kick-off 12:45.
The hooker, who arrived in the West Country two weeks ago comes straight into the starting line-up and is hoping to play a big role as the season approaches its climax.
Charles said: “I’m very excited (to make his debut) and the fact that it’s at home as well makes it more special. I went to the Rec for the first time last Saturday, so a new experience for me and it will be fantastic to run out in front of that crowd. I’ve watched plenty of games and the crowd is always big and vocal so I couldn’t be more excited.
“Coming in here has been quite a transition, but I feel I’ve been here a lot longer than I have. I feel like I’m really becoming part of this team and I think that probably comes down to the culture that’s been created here. The guys have been extremely friendly and welcoming, which really does help when you are trying to settle in especially at this time of year.”
The 28-year-old has inside knowledge of this weekend’s opponents having recently played for Top 14 rivals Clermont Auvergne and knows that they will be in for a battle. However, Charles is confident that a strong set piece can give the backs the space they need to cause the Brive defence problems.
He explains: “Clermont actually played Brive whilst I was there, so we did a whole preparation on the team and what they bring. I’ve done my homework and I know a bit about them, but it’s going to be a tough game for sure. They have a big team and if they get on the front foot, they can really start to cause havoc.
“We need to be really disciplined in our game plan and not give them easy points. They’ve got a good goal kicker, who can kick them from anywhere. If we nail our set piece and move them around, we should see some gaps opening up.”
A dynamic front rower, Charles is confident that he can bring a new dimension to the squad as Bath look to finish the European and Aviva Premiership season on a high.
“I think I can bring my skill and speed to the game and hopefully that will add to what Bath already has. As I’m quite new, I guess I can bring a different kind of energy - it’s a long season for the boys, so some might be finding it a little hard, so a new voice could help reinvigorate them a little bit.
“I’ll do whatever necessary to get the team across the line – I’m happy to pick up any job that needs to be done. There are not many games left, so I want to make the most of it.”
The four-time capped Wallaby has signed a deal until the end of the season, but is motivated to do what it takes to prolong his stay with the Club beyond the current campaign.
Charles adds: “I’ve not come here to have a holiday, but to really rip in and further myself as a player and push this team to new levels. I so badly want to be a part of a successful team and I see Bath is just that. I’d love to put in the performances that make it hard for people not to want you in the team. That’s my goal first and foremost and hopefully that will open up some opportunities.
Tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Brive at the Recreation Ground are still available. You can buy your tickets here or via the Bath Rugby Ticket Office on 0844 448 1865.