Archie Griffin, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, Xavier Hastings, Nahum Merigan, Max Ojomoh and George Worboys have all agreed senior Academy contracts with Bath Rugby ahead of the 2019/20 season forming part of the Club's commitment to deliver a 50% homegrown squad by 2023.
NAME - NAHUM MERIGAN
AGE - 18
POSITION - NO. 8
PREVIOUS CLUB / SCHOOL - TAUNTON RFC / BEECHEN CLIFF
WHERE DID YOU START YOUR RUGBY JOURNEY?
“I started playing rugby when I was eight years old down at Taunton RFC in Somerset and I really enjoyed playing. I was picked up at the age of fourteen to represent the County side and then also for Bath Rugby academy and it has been a journey from there."
WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOUR PLAYING STYLE?
“Growing up I looked up to Manu Tuilagi a lot, he plays a completely different position to myself, but it is pretty self-explanatory why I did, it was his raw power and his ability to change a game and putting it on its head.
“Ryan Davies has really helped my skill ability and reviewing my performances from matches, he has challenged me on why I have made certain decisions and really gone into deep detail of how and why I have made those decisions in games.
"Andy Rock has been amazing, he has really challenged me and also helped me to get involved with A league matches. All of them have really helped me, putting gin endless hours over the past two years, working on my conditioning and trying to get me into the best shape possible."
HOW DID YOU FIND THE 2018/19 SEASON?
“Both Beecham Cliff and Bath U18s had really good seasons, I didn’t actually play the first game of the season for Beecham because of injury but I came back of the physio and rehab team. I kicked on from there and as a team we played really well and played against Hartpury College in the final, which we lost but as a whole it was a brilliant season.
"With the U18s we had a brilliant season and we managed to beat our local rivals, the likes of Exeter and Bristol by big score lines, but it was just unfortunate not to make it to the final against Leicester Tigers."
Third place play-off
“You can just tell that it is a special place when you walk into Allianz Park with the way that the advertisement around is all about the success of the club and what their involvement is with the local community. That final game of the season against Wasps showed the character of the group after coming from behind and win by seven points and it showed how good the group and coaches are and how hard we have worked."
FINDING OUT ABOUT YOUR CONTRACT
“I was really happy, I got a bit emotional when I had the conversation with Andy Rock because it has been a dream ever since I picked up a rugby ball at Taunton RFC aged eight years old. The long hours, the travelling and the endless list of things that you give up and contribute, has all been worth it."
KEY AMBITIONS FOR NEXT SEASON
"I want to improve each day, ask questions to the coaching staff like Stuart Hooper, to Andy Rock, to the first team players. Hopefully I will be able to put my hand up for a senior game but as long as I can go out there each week and try to get better and challenge myself then that is the main thing for me.
"It is a very exciting opportunity, I remember watching Zach Mercer when he was playing for England U20s and has now broken into the senior England set up and players like Miles Reid, who is a local Beecham boy, but there is loads that I can learn from."
WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING OFF?
“Talupe Faletau is a world class player, his ability to carry the ball and take defenders on, his work rate is exceptional. He is definitely someone who I would love to learn of as he has been on Lions tours, he has so many Wales caps so he would be a good one. Others like Miles Reid, Josh Bayliss and Zach Mercer who have all come through the Pathway set up who have now gone on to do great things for the club in the senior set up."
ARCHIE GRIFFIN ON NAHUM MERIGAN -
"On and around the pitch, he is a big lad who knows his way around but he always seems to put himself in the best positions, whether that is to stop someone from getting through, getting that offload, he just knows the game well.
"For someone so big he has got such light and quick hands and has always been a good leader in the Academy all the way through, knowing the right things to say on the pitch before the coaches even come on and I think he can bring that into the senior Academy.
"His made qualities are his ball carrying as well as his defensive work. He has the achievements he has in rugby for a reason, playing at the England U18s and getting the contract."