Anthony Watson will head to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday looking to banish some recent demons and create a lasting memory for himself and Bath Rugby.
Just one month ago Watson travelled to Dublin with England and featured in a 19-9 defeat that would eventually see the Six Nations title slip out of their hands.
The 21-year-old winger is part of a strong Bath contingent in the England squad – Dave Attwood, George Ford and Jonathan Joseph also started at the Aviva Stadium.
With that defeat fresh in the memory, the Aviva Premiership Rugby outfit are preparing for a European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final with Leinster.
The Irish province also boasts a hefty international group – no fewer than 11 Leinster players featured in the match-day 23 against England last month – and Watson is keen to exact some revenge.
“Leinster are a quality side and it is going to be a good challenge for us to go over there and try to perform,” he said.
“We are not too intimidated by going over to the Aviva Stadium – it’s a challenge that we are looking forward to.
“No matter where we would have gone, it would have been tough but you play rugby to play in these games. That’s what spurs you on and that’s what drives you. If we win over there it will be something we remember forever.
“Having played against some of those boys at that stadium, there are lessons to be learnt. I think George, JJ and I will have learnt a lot from that and hopefully we can use it this weekend.
“We are disappointed with the Ireland game but to play with those boys was very special. All four of us will have developed during that period and bring some of it back into club rugby.
“I think it’s confidence – playing week in, week out in international rugby is massive – and then just little things like communication. Things like that are crucial.”
Bath may well have to improve from their performance from a 29-14 victory over struggling London Welsh last time out in order to secure safe passage to the Champions Cup last four.
However, Watson believes that clash – in difficult conditions – has taught them a few valuable lessons for a high-stakes season run-in.
“To go out there in conditions like that and get five points was a quality showing from the lads,” he added. “Welsh went out there and showed a lot of their strength in that game and they made it a challenge for us.
“To get five points away in the Premiership is great and we are never going to turn that down. We will take a lot from that game and learn from it.
“We have got a pretty decent run-in and as a club we are striving to get better. With George (Ford) coming back and a few of the other boys it’s going to be good. I think we are picking up form at the right time.”
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