New Bath Rugby prop Max Lahiff admits there is no place like home as he prepares to make his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance in two years at Saracens on Sunday.
The 25-year-old left London Irish for a new adventure Down Under in 2013 but, after spells with Hawke’s Bay, New South Wales Country Eagles and, most recently, Melbourne Rebels, Lahiff is back on English shores.
Lahiff marked his return with a try in last weekend’s narrow LV= Cup defeat to Ospreys, a relative dead rubber.
But admits running out at Allianz Park when third in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table entertain his second-placed team will be extra special.
“Being back in England is awesome,” said Lahiff.
“It’s good to be around my family again, I had some relatives over there, but not my immediate family.
“Playing and living in Melbourne was a great experience. I learned a lot about myself. I guess it was character building, but the plan was always to come back to England. I just missed home and being around the coaches we’ve got here is a superb feeling.
“My goal now is to nail down my place in the team. In Paul James and Nick Auterac we have two good looseheads, but I want to be part of the team when it comes to finals time. I want to be in the mix, starting when the big games come along. That’s what I’m looking to do.
"I need to do a bit of work on my conditioning to get up to Premiership standards, but that’s not far off. I’m feeling good, I felt good against Ospreys and I’m confident in my ability on the pitch.
“It was my first start for a while, so nice to get back and to score, though you never want to be beaten at the Rec, so it was a little bittersweet.”
Another new face in the Bath dressing room is Tom Homer, who completed his switch from Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals London Irish this week.
The 24-year-old back’s arrival coincides with Gavin Henson’s switch to Bristol and Lahiff expects him to quickly become an invaluable member of the squad.
“Tom Homer will add a steely nerve, his kicking game is awesome and he can play almost anywhere in the backline,” added Lahiff.
“And he is a great character too, so I have no doubt he will fit in very well at Bath.”
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