Fresh from putting pen to paper on a new contract, Bath Rugby’s Elliott Stooke is now looking to push on with Club and country.
Stooke has been a regular feature in the Bath team since arriving from West Country rivals Gloucester in 2016, and is excited about his future in the Blue, Black and White.
Stooke said: “I didn’t want to leave - this place is home and the Club is going in the right direction. We have a core group that have been around a long time and they are the right boys to take us forward.
“We’ve got a great environment here, it’s a good place to play and our supporters are great. We are going to go forward in the next couple of years and we’re all focused on winning silverware.”
The second rower has gone from strength-to-strength over the last two seasons, with his form catching the eye of England Head Coach Eddie Jones. After making his first appearance for his country against Barbarians in May, Stooke was involved in the England setup for the recent Quilter Autumn Internationals.
“I feel like I’ve developed massively at Bath, I left my old club Gloucester in a bit of a slump. I was in my comfort zone and I needed to move in order for my career to progress. Thankfully coming to Bath two years ago was a nice, fresh start and coming to an environment like this has developed me as a player and a person.”
“I’ve got thank the coaches but I’ve also the players around me. Guys in my position like Dave Attwood, Luke Charteris and Matt Garvey and Charlie Ewels - these guys have helped me develop in my specific areas as a player.”
Despite not featuring in England’s campaign, Stooke is looking to continue to make his mark at Club level with the hope that international honours will follow.
“I’ve had a sniff at International now, and I feel like Bath is the right place to be going forward to try to become an international player. Every English boy’s dream is to play for their country, so I’m very dedicated to hopefully achieving a cap for my country and getting many more. I’m working hard at the Club and away from the Club to achieve that goal.”
“It’s (the England camp) been good. It’s a tough, high pressured environment, but it brings the best out of the players and I’ve learnt a lot from it. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that the coaches have given me at Bath - to be able to play so much rugby has put me in a good stead going forward with the internationals.
Despite an inconsistent start to the season, Stooke is looking to build momentum over the next few weeks, with Sale next up at the Rec this Sunday.
“We will turn it around, rugby is rugby,” Stooke said. “In seven days’ time, you can go out there and rectify things. Every team wants to beat every team, it’s not an easy league and teams aren’t the teams that they used to be, and every team goes through good and bad spells and results will come.”