Whilst Bath Rugby may be struggling, their English players have been flourishing in this year’s RBS Six Nations Championship. Not only did England win, but on Saturday 19 March they went to Paris and defeated France 31-21 to claim their first Grand Slam since 2003.
In all, six Bath players were involved in England’s campaign, with regular starters George Ford, Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph being joined in the squad by Ollie Devoto, who made the matchday squad but who awaits his first cap, Semesa Rokoduguni and Henry Thomas. This left Bath a little short in the backs to say the least, but the efforts of Bath’s contingent in the championship has been outstanding. Joseph, Ford and Watson not only started every match but between them they scored 37 points: Joseph – three tries; Watson – three tries; Ford – one try, one conversion.
Watson has now scored 11 tries in 20 international appearances – he has now touched down in three successive matches – and continues to lead the try-scoring charts in World Rugby this year.
Elsewhere in the Six Nations, David Denton made two appearances for Scotland before succumbing to an injury that ruled him out for the rest of the tournament, whilst Rhys Priestland did well with limited game time as back up to Wales’ first choice ten, Dan Biggar.
All these players now return to Bath for the rest of the season. After a forgettable campaign, Bath are still within touching distance of European Champions Cup qualification, but will need their returning internationals to help the team kick on as they look towards their final fixtures. As well as facing Saracens at home on Friday 1 April, their run in includes two matches against Sale, a visit to Franklin’s Gardens to face Northampton and a home tie against Leicester Tigers on Saturday 7 May to finish the regular season. Bath will hope that they still have something to play for by the time the Tigers come to town.
1 April, 19:45 H Saracens (AP)
13 April, 19:45 H Sale Sharks (AP)
17 April, 14:30 A Sale Sharks (AP)
30 April, 15:15 A Northampton Saints (AP)
7 May, 15:30 H Leicester Tigers (AP)