After missing out on The Clash last year through injury, Matt Garvey is ready to make up for lost time as Bath Rugby take on Leicester Tigers at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 14:00).
Garvey was in the stands on punditry duties as Bath triumphed 27-21 under the Twickenham sun, and admits that he can't wait to sample the atmosphere himself on the pitch this time around.
“It’s an occasion I have been looking forward to,” said the 30-year-old. “I was gutted to miss the game last year, but the Club did their part off the pitch and the team delivered on it.
“I was not expecting it to be as big as it was. Seeing the boys come off the bus and the amount of fans that turned up and cheered on the team throughout the day - it was all pretty special.”
The Bath players will be wearing a limited-edition shirt on the weekend, featuring images of inspirational individuals who form the Bath Rugby Foundation’s own very special XV.
All fifteen have overcome the odds and achieved remarkable success while taking part in programmes run by Bath Rugby Foundation.
“We’ve heard their stories and it is very humbling to wear this jersey, which they all deserve to be on,” Garvey added.
“As players, we know that every time we step onto the field we are representing everyone in Bath and we are honoured to be taking these fifteen amazing individuals onto the Twickenham pitch with us. It gives us that extra motivation to go out and perform on Saturday.”
Saturday’s opponents Leicester come into the contest on a good run of form having won their previous four matches in the Aviva Premiership including a last-gasp 16-15 triumph against Wasps in the last round. Garvey is well aware of what Leicester will bring to Twickenham, but believes that a win could be the catalyst to a strong finish to the season.
“Leicester are a tough side with some world-class players. It won’t be easy but we just need to focus on ourselves. We haven’t got to change too much - we’ve just got be more consistent with our levels of preparation and performance, and I am confident we can do that.
“Hopefully this weekend we will get a positive result that will spur us on to finish the season strongly and put us back in the position we want to be in.”
The Clash will not just be a special day for the Bath Rugby forward, but for the whole Garvey family, as the Bath skipper will run out onto the Twickenham pitch with his two children.
“I cannot wait to run out onto the pitch with my kids. “It will be a lovely moment for me and something I will treasure for a long time.”
Tickets for The Clash are still available, with tickets starting from just £15. To purchase tickets click here.