After an injury-disrupted start to the campaign, hooker Ross Batty insists he is fully fit and ready to help Bath Rugby maintain their lofty position in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.
Bath currently lie fourth as they prepare for a return to league action against Newcastle Falcons on Saturday, following a month-long break from the competition.
They suffered a mixed set of results in the European Rugby Champions Cup and LV= Cup during that period but Batty is keen to move on from those and focus on the bread and butter of Aviva Premiership Rugby.
The 28-year-old injured his shoulder towards the end of last season and only returned to first-team action against Saracens in October.
But with first-choice hooker Rob Webber off on England duty, Batty will have a golden opportunity to impress in the coming weeks.
“With my injury earlier this year it was a bit of a slow start for me,” he said. “I was dying to get back involved but I had to make sure my shoulder was right.
“Over the last few weeks I’ve started to get my game time up and it’s feeling good. I’m looking forward to getting back out there, putting my hand up and showing what I can do.
“We’ve got such a strong squad at Bath that you have to make the most of every opportunity to keep hold of that shirt.
“There’s so much competition all over the park – it’s massively exciting and something I want to be a part of.”
After the Newcastle game, Bath travel to London Irish and host Harlequins as they look to cement themselves in the play-off places.
And Batty admits it will be a season-defining set of fixtures for the West Country side.
“It’s great to get back to the Premiership now – it’s a massively important few games for us and we need to keep our position in the top four,” he added.
“We need to keep pushing on and try to get back to winning ways. It’s hugely important to get a win this weekend – our focus is firmly on this next set of Premiership games and making sure we get the results.
“We started the season very well and we got a few good wins under our belts. We weren’t so good in Europe but it’s all a learning curve for us.
“We’ve got to learn how to get the points and how to stay in the match when we go to places like Glasgow. It’s a challenge but one we’re moving forward with and want to put right.”
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