Saturday 4th November will be a day which Levi Davis will never forget. After making a try-scoring debut in the 22-26 victory against London Irish in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, it was the start of things to come for the 19-year-old.
After making the 70 mile trip down the M4 back to Bath, Davis realised one of his dreams by putting pen to paper on an Academy contract with Bath Rugby.
“After making my debut against London Irish, I got off the bus and Hoops (Stuart Hooper) and Rocky (Andy Rock) told me the news,” Davis explains. “I was ecstatic and the excitement was more about for things that will hopefully come and trying to develop as a player.
“I really enjoyed my first game, but now I’ve got that hunger for more. It was great to get my name on the scoresheet, but it was more about getting the win. It was one of those games when we were camped on our own line and if they’d scored, they would have won. It took a huge effort defensively from the boys and I’m really proud to have been a part of it.”
Davis, who helped Hartpury RFC to promotion to the Championship last season, is now focused on fine-tuning his game and taking advantage of any opportunities that come his way over the course of the season.
An explosive winger with the eye for the try line, Davis has all the ingredients to succeed in the Blue, Black and White. However, the methodical back is leaving no stone unturned in his drive to become that well-rounded player.
“Things have changed with regards to my mind-set at training - not in terms of effort, but with what I’m doing,” he adds. “It’s more about being on top of the basics and doing those well, rather than trying to be flash and doing silly things.
“As any young player growing up, you want to be that superstar and be a top performer, but that comes from doing the basics well, which has only just started to click with me. Everyone makes mistakes, but as long as you’re trying to learn from them and implement that into your game, that’s the main thing.”
He doesn’t have to look far on the training field to spot some of that superstar talent, with the likes of British & Irish Lion Anthony Watson and England international Semesa Rokoduguni giving him a helping hand on a day-to-day basis.
“The likes of Anthony (Watson) and Roko (Semesa Rokoduguni) do their basics well and they have their strengths, which certainly come out on the pitch and that’s what makes them the players they are.
“You truly discover what your strengths are when you make the step-up into professional rugby and it’s really important that you work on those, but also your weaknesses too. Having those guys out there is massive in terms of my development. It’s not just on the field, but feeding off that experience off the field will hopefully make me a better player.”
Many of the Bath Rugby supporters will have caught a glimpse of Davis in the Bath United team over the last 18 months, but for those yet to see him in action, here’s what he thinks he can bring to the table in the Blue, Black and White.
“I’d say my strengths are my speed and my power and get over the gain line. As a winger, I like to think I’m a finisher and have the ability to beat defenders - I’d say that’s my X Factor. I guess my areas of development are my basics, but those things will come over time.”
A former England U18 and U19 international, the modest Davis is now focused on his future with the aim of making inroads for Bath Rugby, but also on the international scene. However, knows that patience is going to be crucial in his rise up the professional ranks.
“I just want to train consistently well in the environment, that would an achievement to me,” Davis admits. “Doing the basics right and making I’m secure when doing my job on the pitch. I think it’s about putting my hand up when I get called up for the first team. In the Anglo-Welsh I was very happy with my first two performances, but I know there’s more to come, so I’ll keep working hard. I can’t wait to get back out there and show what I’ve learnt over the last month or so.
“It would also be great to make the England U20s, but I’m not in control of that. What I am in control of is making sure I’m improving as a Bath player – England is an added bonus.
“I’m not the finished article, but I’m excited to see what things are like when a few pages are full. With the guys I have around me at the Club, those pages are filling up fast.”