The next month could make or break Bath Rugby’s season and prop Davey Wilson admits every game is now a must-win.
Narrow defeat to Toulon in Europe last time out in their rearranged European Champions Cup fixture means the West Country side are staring down the barrel of a Pool stage exit.
Two wins from their final two games of their Pool, this weekend away to Leinster and then welcoming Toulon to the Rec in ten days time, still might not be enough to put them through.
Add that to their stuttering start to Aviva Premiership Rugby – the West Country outfit have only won three from their first eight games – and Mike Ford’s side need to turn things around quickly.
Defending champions Saracens – who beat Bath in last year’s final – and local rivals Gloucester Rugby are up next in the league after Europe and Wilson admits Bath need to find top gear soon.
“Last time out against Toulon was certainly a step in the right direction, but we were still disappointed to lose,” he said.
“We are aware that we are getting closer – Toulon would give most international teams a run for their money.
“We are still capable of going through in Europe, we have good players here and we need to get everyone playing well together.
“We had a few players missing at the World Cup and there was a bit of a hangover from that, teams in this league have moved on – every game is tough.
“This is massive period for us now – every game counts. The Aviva Premiership is very close and there is not a lot between us and the top four.
“We need to starting winning games, in Europe we know we must win these two to have a chance of qualifying and these are the games we want to be competing in.”
In a mixed week for Wilson, the 30-year-old signed a new deal at the Rec but was also left out of Eddie Jones’ first England squad.
The tighthead prop – who won the last of his 44 caps for England at last year’s World Cup – has become the cornerstone of the West Country side’s pack, making over 120 appearances since he joined ahead of the 2009/10 season.
“I have signed on for another couple of years because, while we have not had a great start to this season, this is a great club,” he added.
“The club is full of ambition, players with a lot of talent and is always going to be there or thereabouts at the end of each season.
“Bath is a great place to be right now, and I have a strong bond with the club.
“There is a fantastic drive amongst the squad and coaches to succeed, and it’s exciting to be part of that. As a team we work hard to keep getting better, and I’m really looking forward to the coming seasons.”