Highly-rated front row prospect Will Vaughan wants to go from strength to strength after making his first team debut for Bath in their Anglo-Welsh win over London Irish in November 2017.
It was a significant milestone for Vaughan, who came on to replace Nick Auterac during the 22-26 victory at the Madejski Stadium.
“It was brilliant - I loved every minute of it. Luckily I got enough time to prove myself as well, about 15 minutes,” said the young loosehead.
“It was really encouraging - Todd and the coaches are really pushing the young guys this season. They gave me my chance and I took it.”
His second appearance for the senior side came at the Liberty Stadium against Ospreys in February, as Bath marched into the Semi-Finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
The former England under 18 says that the much-maligned competition is worth a great deal to young players on the rise like him.
The 21-year-old explained: “It’s more competitive. I love playing A League, but there isn’t the same level of competitiveness, whereas with the Anglo-Welsh we fought for something. We wanted a home Semi-Final and got it, which was absolutely brilliant.”
Versatility is key in the professional game and Vaughan certainly boasts a good hand in those terms having transitioned from the back row. He played number eight before he was selected for England, who drafted him into the front row.
“I was a number eight until I was 16. Then England picked me as a prop,” he chuckled.
“I didn’t have much experience playing in that position and they chucked me in at the deep end.
“From then on I realised that being a prop wasn’t as easy as I’d initially thought it was going to be! To me it’s quite simple - get your head in where other people don’t want to and just push!”
Jesting aside, Vaughan agrees that the ball skills and mobility demanded of the front row these days are more familiar with his formative years and he is well set as a result.
“I love scrummaging and the set piece but learning that stuff is just as fun and interesting to me as well. Being an ex-number eight I do have those type of skills - perhaps they aren’t as prevalent as they are with some other players,” he admitted.
“Don’t get me wrong - it’s still a huge part of the game for me.”
The upcoming Prop says he enjoys the challenge of pitting himself against some fearsome exponents of the front row art in training.
“You’re packing down in training against the likes of Anthony Perenise or Shaun Knight, and you think this is a tough place to learn!” he said.
“Lucas Noguera Paz is brilliant. He’s very clever and he’s learnt the language very quickly. It’s great learning from him and everyone else. We don’t talk too much about scrums but we don’t really need to. You’ve got to look and learn when you’re working but for me, that’s the best way.”