Fixtures - Top Bar

Mercer: Bath Rugby’s forwards a special group

Few teams could cope with the absence of six forwards and still field a team worthy of challenging the best, but Guy Mercer admits Bath Rugby’s pack is one of a kind.

In their title-winning heyday – long before the flair of George Ford and Anthony Watson arrived at the Rec – Bath were renowned for their power in the trenches.

Another bumper crop has come together under Mike Ford and their efforts have been rewarded with no fewer than six call-ups across England’s Six Nations and Saxons squads.

Mercer himself has missed the boat in large part due to a knee injury sustained in October, starting six of six Aviva Premiership Rugby games before being sidelined.

But the flanker insists a LV= Cup trip to the Stoop to take on Harlequins is just the tonic he needs.

“This group of forwards is unbelievable and it could have been more as Dom Day’s been brilliant and could have been called up,” said Mercer.

“Carl Fearns got a late call up too and it’s a deserved reward for his efforts. I’m really pleased to be involved in this group, and to be in a position of strength whether injuries or international duty is quite nice.

“Hopefully I can use this game to remind everyone what I’m about.

“It’s a great environment here, no matter how the boys are doing for England or otherwise everyone is treated as an equal.

“We have strength in numbers at the moment. If you just look at our front-row, we’re in the position where two players with international honours can come off and two can come in.

“It’s similar right the way across the field, when we have the England boys in the back-line and the likes of Horacio Agulla who’s as good as anyone. It’s all credit to the coaches.

“I’m really looking forward to the game, I’ve been playing in the second team for a couple of weeks and it’s nice to get back into it – the knee’s been absolutely fine in that time.”

Seasoned internationals are not the only ones who make up the forwards at Bath, with teenage lock Charlie Ewels in particular promising a sparkling future.

Fresh from making his home debut in Europe against Toulouse last October Ewels, who signed a new contract earlier this week, was handed the captaincy in an emphatic LV= Cup victory over London Welsh.

Bath however did hit a bump in the road in the competition after losing to West Country rivals Exeter Chiefs last time out – something Mercer is keen to rectify at Quins.

He added: “Charlie is really stepping up as a leader, especially for a young guy. He is so calm and considered in what he says and he is not shy or short of an opinion. You need that balance within the group and he is one who certainly who has a big future.

“That performance (against Exeter) was tough but I think the boys have been on a roll since then, they’ve been class over the last few weeks.

“It’s always interesting to see what squads are put out in the LV= Cup but the bottom line is both teams are looking to win, no one wants to be beaten in front of their home fans.

“The Stoop’s a great place to play and got work to do as we lost our last game in the competition – we have got to step up to the plate and make sure we deliver.”
 
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.

Latest News

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Bryce Heem

The charge against Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors for tackling the jumper in the air, contrary to law 10.4(i), was…

Bryce Heem

Saracens to thank Emergency Services at Derby Day

Saracens are offering complimentary tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming Derby Day clash against…

Wembley

Champions Cup semi-final venues announced

BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, as well as three French stadiums – the Allianz…

Fly-half Josh Lewis signs for Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to welcome fly-half Josh Lewis, who will join the Club from Ebbw Vale for the 2017/18…

Josh Lewis

Don Armand targeting big final push with Exeter Chiefs

Don Armand insists Exeter Chiefs will make the most of time off to ensure they are in fine fettle for…

Don Armand

RFU Disciplinary: Bryce Heem

Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel this evening charged with tackling the jumper in…

Gloucester Rugby respond to rumours regarding Carl Fearns

Gloucester Rugby have today responded to a story in the French press alleging that Carl Fearns will not be joining…

Kingsholm

Chew Valley champing at the bit for Twickenham outing following Bath Rugby’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Lewis Kenyon and his Chew Valley U12s team were left grinning from ear to ear after securing a spot as part…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…