Will Chudley is hoping to use last week’s performance against Leinster as a springboard, as Bath Rugby face the reigning European Champions at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 17:30).
Bath claimed a bonus-point in the 10-17 defeat against the Irish giants, but was buoyed by the display in front of a capacity crowd at the Rec.
“It was a massive improvement in terms of where we’ve been,” Chudley admitted. “Obviously we lost the game and we play to win, so whilst we know it was a good improvement, we need to build on that performance.
“It was good to come in on Monday knowing that we’ve fired some shots and given a good account of ourselves. There’s a lot more confidence in the group and hopefully we’ll look back on that game as the one that changed our season.”
It was a new half-back pairing last weekend with Chudley linking up with James Wilson, and the 30 year-old has been impressed by the way the New Zealander has fitted in since his return to the Club two weeks ago.
“Obviously it’s not been ideal losing Rhys (Priestland) and Freddie (Burns), but James has come in and made a significant impact.
“We’ve seen that in the two times he’s played. James is a very good player, knowledgeable and has a huge kick. He got us out of a few tricky situations on Saturday, and that experience has really shone through.”
Chudley is expecting another spectacle once again this weekend and is relishing the opportunity for the squad to test themselves against the best.
“What we did on Saturday was focused a lot on ourselves, our energy and physicality. That’s exactly what we need to do this weekend. Obviously we will analyse them because they’re a great team, but the reason why we played well was because we had a relentless attitude and a willingness to get off the line and hunt them down.
“As much as anything, we’re all pretty excited. The atmosphere at the Rec was class, and it’s going to be a big crowd on Saturday too. These are the games you want ot play in against the European Champions at their home ground, so it will be special for us as players and supporters too.”