Utility back Anthony Watson has his eyes set firmly on hitting the ground running when Bath Rugby’s season resumes with the visit of London Irish on Saturday at the Rec.
The England star is aiming to win as many games possible for the Blue, Black and White to earn themselves a top four spot, come the end of the current campaign.
He said: “We only have one way to respond – we are going to try and win as many if not all of the games that we can. There is no other aim really, we will see how far that takes us.
“If we get to the semi-finals then we want to be competing and winning the Premiership. You don’t come in to work so hard to come second so that is what we want to do.
The 26-year-old is eager for games to conclude and with the Premiership semi-finals on the agenda and the England full-back believes that the entire squad will have to play its part in helping the Blue, Black and White earn their place in the top four this season.
Watson continued: “Strength and depth in the squad is going to be massively important across this period with short turn arounds between games, it has to be managed carefully. Everybody in the squad is going to get an opportunity and I think it is going to showcase the unity of the squad and also the level of coaching that we have received.
“Neal Hatley, Stuart Hooper, Girvan Dempsey and Ryan Davis have all been amazing, so the onus is on us to take our learnings from them and prove it with the strength and depth. There is a lot to come from the boys and especially some of the boys that may not spring to mind immediately.”
With six weeks of training now under the squad’s belt since phase two began and contact training was introduced, Watson insists that the team are ready and eagerly anticipating the Gallagher Premiership’s return to action.
He continued: “Training has been really good. Everyone is excited to get back into 15 on 15 training and be able to simulate as close to a game scenario as possible. Everything is treading in the right direction, there is still a long way to go, but we are good for now.
“The hardest thing about returning to contact training has been maintaining social distancing when we are not training. We still have to minimise risk when we are in team huddles and when we don’t need to be on top of each other which has been the most difficult thing to manage.
“It’s the main reason why we play is to be able to put yourselves against opposition and test yourself out and that is what we have all been grinding for throughout lockdown. It has been to get back and be able to compete against another team and see where we are at.
“We are all massively excited here, we’ve been competing against each other in training, but it is never the same as going up against another team.
“I am most excited to be able to get back playing and competing against another team. You can train as much as you want but it doesn’t ever replicate a game. I know it’s going to be different without the supporters, but it is just going to be great to be out there competing and working hard with the lads that you have put some much effort in with since we’ve come back from lockdown.”