Jack Walker has targeted a big performance as Bath Rugby face Harlequins in the opening round of the Premiership Rugby Cup at the Rec tomorrow (kick-off 15:00).
Walker starts at hooker for the game and believes that the next three weeks gives several players the chance to stake their claim for a starting jersey.
The 22-year-old said: “It’s a huge opportunity to go out there at the weekend and show what we can do as a squad.
“Speaking from a Bath point of view, whichever 15 put on that shirt are keen to go out there and give it their all. Every game we play, there is a lot at stake and as I said earlier if you’re not playing your best rugby there are plenty of people who will step in and do the job.”
Walker arrived at the Club from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2016, and has now set his sights on a regular starting berth after an injury-disrupted start to his Bath Rugby career.
“I had a really good time in Leeds playing in the Championship and really enjoyed it, but making that step into the (Gallagher) Premiership has been good for me. I’ve had a few injuries along the way but now I feel like I’m getting some game time.”
The hooker featured against Harlequins at The Stoop earlier in the season, as the Blue, Black and White prevailed in a thrilling 32-37 victory. Walker is expecting another high-scoring affair, as Bath kick-off their Premiership Rugby campaign on home soil.
“I think it’ll be a pretty open game, as was shown earlier on in the season when we went down to The Stoop to play them. It was high scoring - I’m expecting similar stuff to be honest, we’ve got a good squad going out and everyone is excited.”
Walker played a pivotal role last weekend against Wasps, providing two assists in the 35-35 draw in the Heineken Champions Cup. However, the young forward is under no illusions that a complete performance is required going into the game tomorrow afternoon.
“It was quite frustrating (against Wasps), similar to quite a few of the games we’ve played. We had some exceptional patches, but we haven’t quite put together that 80-minute performance, so that’s what we will be looking to do this weekend.”
Walker finds himself battling with Ross Batty, Tom Dunn and Michael van Vuuren for the number two jersey, and is well aware that he will have to be at his very best to cement his place in the starting line-up.
“You’ve got to be at the top of your game if you want to play, and I’m just trying to get better every day, training with the lads. So, if you get the opportunity you’ve got to take it and if you don’t you’re swapped out for someone who’s playing just as well if not even better.”