Fixtures - Top Bar

Cook ready for tough European opener

Bath Rugby are expecting a backlash from Leinster when they face off in the European Rugby Champions Cup this weekend but scrum-half Chris Cook insists the Aviva Premiership Rugby side will be ready.

Last weekend’s terror attacks in Paris meant that Bath’s opening clash with Toulon was postponed, so last year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists will kick off their tournament against Leinster at the Rec on Saturday.
 
The Irish side went down 33-6 on home soil this weekend to Aviva Premiership Rugby side Wasps, their biggest loss in European competition in more than a decade.
 
But rather than talk of a decline at Leinster, Cook is more concerned about how strongly they will bounce back from that defeat.
 
“They will probably have had a difficult week with lots to work on,” he said.
 
“I wouldn’t say it was a shock result because we know that Wasps are a good side. But usually you would say a team like Leinster would always be favourites on home soil.
 
“We know they will come out all guns blazing. Last year’s game (when Leinster beat Bath in the quarter-finals) was disappointing but we haven’t spoken about it that much.
 
“It’s a new year and we’re looking forward.”
 
Bath had made a slow start to the season domestically with consecutive losses to Wasps and Harlequins after a narrow win to kick off the campaign against Exeter Chiefs.
 
However they got back on track when they comfortably saw off London Irish at the Madejski in their last Aviva Premiership Rugby match, and Cook feels things are starting to come together as those players who were away at the World Cup begin to settle back in.
 
“We were a bit disappointed with how we started the season but the London Irish game was a great result for us,” he added.
 
“It’s been a bit of a strange start to the season not knowing when people would be coming back but everyone is back now and we’ve had a good few weeks to get settled.
 
“I was really pleased with how the Irish game went, and getting picked to start against Toulon. Hopefully we can put on a good show at the Rec on Saturday.”
 
Cook faces plenty of competition at scrum-half this season, with Bath having brought in Fijian international Niko Matawalu, and he revealed that he was relishing the competition, with the Jonathan Evans also having joined over the off-season from Newport Gwent Dragons.
 
“Niko is a really nice guy so it’s fantastic to have him and Jonathan Evans with us at the club,” he added.“We all get on but we’re also really competitive and keen to play as much as possible.
 
“I’ve been here seven seasons now so I know the club well but it’s good to have the competition from guys coming in.”

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem

Latest News

Match Reaction: Saracens 27 Bristol Rugby 9

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admitted his team’s performance in their 27-9 victory over Bristol Rugby fell well short…

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 41 Sale Sharks 18

Leicester Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor paid tribute to Freddie Burns after the fly-half inspired his side to a 41-18…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 36 Northampton Saints 12

Ali Hepher believes Exeter Chiefs have finally played at their best after a fine victory over Northampton Saints moved them…

AUDIO: Post match Aviva Premiership reaction to Saracens 27 Bristol 9

Russell Hargreaves looks back on events at Allianz Park, before speaking to retiring Sarries legends Neil de Kock and Kelly…

Match Report: Leicester Tigers 41 Sale Sharks 18

Freddie Burns gave a starring performance in his final home appearance for Leicester Tigers to put them on brink of qualification…

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 36 Northampton Saints 12

Exeter Chiefs became the first Aviva Premiership Rugby side to secure seven straight bonus-point wins with their biggest ever victory…

Match Report: Saracens 27 Bristol Rugby 9

Saracens overcame a slow first half to sign off their departing club legends in style with a bonus-point Aviva Premiership…

Late change to Northampton Saints squad

Tom Wood is a late withdrawal from today's Northampton Saints team that is playing Exeter Chiefs. Christian Day comes into…

Christian Day

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Worcester Warriors director of rugby Gary Gold was left stunned and disappointed after Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Sonatane Takulua struck late…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans signed off from the Stoop with a majestic performance as he kicked 22 points against Wasps…

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Sonatane Takulua scored all of Newcastle Falcons' points - including a late converted try - to down a spirited Worcester…

Match Report: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Nick Evans capped a memorable final appearance for Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop by scoring 22 points as they downed…

Alafoti Faosiliva commits future to Worcester Warriors

Samoa international Alafoti Faosiliva will continue his Sixways career after committing his future to the Club. The 31-year-old arrived at…

Alafoti Faosiliva

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits