TOP BAR - Fixtures

Nathan Catt ready for derby seven years in the making

When the Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures came out Nathan Catt looked for one match-up, and one match-up only.

The Bath Rugby prop has spent years waiting for it, the chance to take on Bristol Rugby, the city where he was born and club of choice of many close friends.

Already he’s had ticket requests from all over for Friday’s clash at the Rec, the friends with whom he grew up in Clevedon – split almost evenly between Bath and Bristol fans.

So now that the game is finally here – seven years after their last meeting in the top flight of English rugby – Catt is relishing the prospect.

“I’m really excited about playing Bristol. I’ve been waiting a long time for this game,” said the 28-year-old prop.

“As soon as they went up I was looking out for this fixture, this game.

“I grew up in Clevedon where you have a real mix of supporters, it’s probably about 50/50 between Bath and Bristol supporters.

“There will be a lot of interest, I’ve had loads of people asking me for tickets, and I’m sure a lot of friends will be there to watch.

“I’ve been to watch them a few times when they were in the Championship, but it will be great to have the chance to play them in the Premiership.”


Of course the teams have already met once this season, Bath getting the better of a European Rugby Challenge Cup clash last month.

But an Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture is another beast entirely, particularly with Bristol having got off the mark for the season last week.

Jason Woodward’s debut helped them to an Anglo-Welsh Cup success over Sale Sharks, and with a win under their belts, Catt is expecting a real battle.

“It will be hugely physical, that’s for sure,” he added.

“They will be coming in with confidence after their win last week so we know how tough it will be.

“You’ve also got a few ex-Bath boys who are there and I’m sure they’ll be really up for playing us.”

It’s been a promising season for Bath so far, sitting third in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table having already picked up impressive wins on the road at Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints.

That comes after a disappointing last season in which they never really managed to find their top form.

And Catt explained that it’s been a focus of the entire squad since the summer to avoid a repeat.

He added: “Last year was hugely disappointing so when we came back we said it could go one of two ways. We could either sulk, or we could crack on.

“We’ve got some good results so far and we want to carry on with that. From a personal perspective, it’s been a tough 18 months with a lot of injuries but I’m getting back to being fully fit.

“You really want to be part of a winning team and I want to stay fit and be part of this one.”

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