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Batty and Bath Rugby chasing European hat-trick

Bath Rugby have stuttered slightly in Aviva Premiership Rugby but they are flying in Europe and hooker Ross Batty is eager to ensure that is still the case on Sunday morning.

Mike Ford’s men host Wasps in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Saturday, just six days after clinching a dramatic 25-23 victory over the same opposition at the Ricoh Arena.

That was their second win in as many European outings, while their last two Aviva Premiership Rugby clashes have resulted in defeat to Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints.

And Batty admits the hosts will need to be at their best to once again get the better of a Wasps side that has already recorded impressive wins against Leinster and Toulon in Europe.

“Our form hasn’t really been there in the Premiership but we are massively in the hunt in Europe having won two from two and with a win this weekend we’ll go three from three,” he said.

“We might have beaten Wasps last weekend but we have to get back to it now, learn from the game and go again.

“We’ve had a tough run but we’re over the moon with picking up points on the road against a team like Wasps.

“I think the key was our defence, which was on point and that’s something we worked on in the lead up to the game. They pose a huge attacking threat but we closed that down well.

“We can’t afford to ease up for the rematch this weekend because they will want to get revenge this time around.

“They will be in good spirits despite the loss last weekend, so it should be a good game.”

On a personal level, Batty is once again embroiled in a battle for the No.2 jersey with England international Rob Webber.

And the 29-year-old, who has retained the starting job this weekend, is enjoying the competition.

“Personally, I’m really happy with the way I’m playing this season – especially with our lineout and scrum working so well,” he added.

“To be fair, I’d be a lot happier if we had won a few more matches as a team! We’re not too down though because we ran Leicester and Northampton close and were unlucky not to leave with more points.

“We had massive opportunities to win both those games, so if you look at the Premiership table we could easily be a bit higher up.

“We’re still confident as a team though and believe we will start to climb the league towards where we believe we should be.

“We didn’t get those wins but we’ve got a good opportunity at the weekend to get another win in Europe and really keep the momentum going.”

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