Butch gets straight back in to face Bristol

Having returned from South Africa on Tuesday, Butch James put himself up for contention to play against Bristol this Sunday almost as soon as he landed.


Keen to pull his Bath shirt back on again, the fly half is comfortable with his fitness and energy levels and will be looking to put in a strong performance in the local derby. Kick off at 3pm.

“It is good to be back in this beautiful city,” said Butch yesterday. “I am still feeling good and these first two games are really big for us, so I was keen to play against Bristol.

“I am raring to go and really looking forward to Sunday.”

Head Coach Steve Meehan echoed Butch’s enthusiasm for the match ahead, having suffered a defeat against Edinburgh last Friday night in the final of Bath Rugby’s pre-season friendly matches.


Highlighting one of the mistakes last Friday, Meehan is confident that the team can rectify their errors: “We did not provide ourselves with quick and clean ball at the ruck against Edinburgh, but everyone is aware what is necessary to win.

“A match against Bristol is always special and I am sure that both teams will come out and deliver something worthy of a Guinness Premiership opening fixture.”

Having been used to playing Bristol a little later on in the season in previous years, Meehan reflected on the impact that may have on the mindset: “Having a local derby as your first match may focus the mind a little bit more, but only time will really be able to tell that. However, I am sure the supporters are feeling as excited about it as we are.”

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Joe Maddock
13. Alex Crockett
12. Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu
11. Matt Banahan
10. Butch James
9. Michael Claassens
1. David Barnes
2. Lee Mears
3. Matt Stevens
4. Justin Harrison
5. Peter Short
6. Stuart Hooper
7. Michael Lipman (c)
8. Jonny Faamatuainu

16. Pieter Dixon
17. Duncan Bell
18. David Flatman
19. James Scaysbrook
20. Scott Bemand
21. Shaun Berne
22. Andrew Higgins

Due to late fitness tests, Josh Ovens, Tom Cheeseman, Aaron Jarvis, Mike Baxter and Jack Cuthbert will also be travelling with the team.



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