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Dave Attwood returns for crucial Bath Rugby run-in

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Dave Attwood will make his long-awaited return from injury for Bath Rugby tonight and the lock insists there is much still to play for in the West Country.

Victory over Gloucester Rugby in the local derby last weekend at Kingsholm was Bath’s third in their last four in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

And with five games to come in their regular season – including a re-arranged double header against Sale Sharks – Attwood and co are still in with an outside chance of cracking the top six.

To do that they will need to beat league leaders Saracens at the Rec tonight and Attwood and the returning England internationals have arrived just in time.

The lock has been recovering from a neck injury for the last four months – he has not appeared since December – but is eager to make up for lost time.

“I am very excited to be back in the mix, it’s been a long old time in recovery with the rehab,” said Attwood.

“The last few weeks I have felt ready and been training with the boys but I can get that frustration out on Friday.

“But guys like Rhys, George, JJ and Anthony have come back and added a bit more fizz after such a great Six Nations with England.

“They are full of energy and that has been great to have around the place. Hopefully that can help us kick on.

"This season is not over for us – there are still things to play for.”

Qualification for the European Rugby Champions Cup next season is at the forefront of Bath’s mind – and the picture is complicated by the four remaining Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

But Attwood insists there are no calculators  to work out permutations just yet – instead the focus is very much on the here and now.

“Mathematically there are all sorts of possibilities but working  those out doesn’t do much for how we are going to perform in the games,” added the 28-year-old who has 22 England caps.

“You have to go out and win, the permutations make no difference to us and we will take it game by game and try squeeze everything we can from each fixture.

“We had a bit of an axe to grind with Gloucester after they came to us earlier in the season and beat us so it was nice for the lads to return the favour.

“It’s always going to be a tough game against them so we were very pleased to come away with the victory.”

And Attwood admits his spell on the sidelines has made him a nightmare to sit next to as Bath’s inconsistencies have blighted their season.

“I am a terrible spectator, I probably give referees more abuse than I do when I’m out on the pitch,” he added. 

“It’s more frustrating than anything else, particularly the form we have been in for bits of the season when you feel you cannot contribute.

“It’s not that I felt I could have made all the difference but you want to get out there and at least try.

“I have done a lot of training and got some A-League action under my belt – I am as prepared as I can be so now I just want to get out there.” 

Watch England’s finest at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 28 May from only £30 for adults & £15 for children. Click here for tickets 
 

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