There are many potential reasons as to why outside centre Jonathan Joseph's stirring performances in the Bath Rugby jersey have made him one of the stand-out players in the Aviva Premiership this season.
Could it be all those early mornings, when he gets woken up by the noise of the builders working on the house he shares with teammate Anthony Watson near the city centre? "It's me who has to get up at the crack of dawn to deal with them," he remarks ruefully, what with Watson being away in England camp.
Maybe it's his blossoming midfield partnership with Kyle Eastmond? "I think we're really starting to understand what it's about and how we can optimise how we both play," says Joseph. "We're getting the best out of each other and we'll try to do that against Harlequins."
Perhaps he proffers the clearest reason when he suggests that he's developed into a more mature person since moving to Bath at the start of last season. "There's certainly a difference between the person I was then and who I am now," he admits. "Now I can better understand what's required of me. Back at London Irish, and when I was involved in the England set-up, for example: I wouldn't say I took it for granted, but the work I put into my game now compared to back then is drastically different."
"I really am just knuckling down now, whereas a few years ago there were a few distractions and at Irish we weren't playing too well as a team. It was quite a frustrating time. The environment I find myself in now is so professional, and everybody gets the best out of each other.
That's the kind of environment you want to be in." Head coach Mike Ford has spoken at length about how Joseph turned up to pre-season this year with renewed vigour and intent. Joseph's scores out in the scorching Portuguese sun certainly reflected those words: he had topped all the fitness tables by the end of that gruelling week...
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