Micky Young may be heading back to the North East but judging by last weekend’s win at Harlequins, Chris Cook doesn’t expect the scrum-half competition to get any lighter at Bath Rugby.
Following a loan spell with London Welsh last season, Cook has emerged as Bath’s go-to No.9 during this campaign – often leaving Young and Peter Stringer waiting in the wings.
It was announced this week that Young will make the switch to Newcastle Falcons this summer, a move that may have allowed Cook a little more room to breathe.
But that’s not the way he sees it after watching 19-year-old Will Homer pull the strings at the Stoop on Saturday, kicking ten points to help keep Bath’s LV= Cup semi-final hopes intact.
“Speaking from a nine point of view I thought Will Homer was really good and (fly-half) Rory Jennings stepped up as well,” he said.
“He (Homer) is a really good, hungry young nine and he has got his goal kicking as well – that’s just another string to his bow, which is a fantastic skill to have.
“I think it just proves our strength in depth at the moment – we have got a good academy here. It was a fantastic win and for the guys to go to the Stoop and get a victory there was massive.
“Harlequins are very similar, they have got a great academy system and they bring the young guys through really well but they had Nick Evans – a former All Black – playing and it was really impressive from our guys.
“For us to still be involved in the competition is fantastic and it is a compliment to our strength in depth. No matter what team we are fielding, we are really playing a good brand of rugby.”
And that is not all Cook will have to compete with after the summer, with Fijian international scrum-half Niko Matawalu set to join from Glasgow Warriors.
However, after he put pen to paper earlier this week for a new contract, Cook is not concerned that he is in danger of being replaced.
“He’s another good scrum-half,” added Cook. “He’s a bit different – very dynamic and quick and scores a lot of tries.
“I want to play in that nine shirt no matter who I’m competing against and I will just keep working hard to make that happen.
“I am really happy to have signed a new deal, which will take me to eight years at the club at the end of that. I’m a Bath boy and I grew up here, watching down the Rec with Andy Robinson coaching and stuff like that.
“I wasn’t maybe expecting to play as much as I have at the start of the season but I’m just taking each week as it comes.”
Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.