Chris Cook said he is desperate to win silverware for his hometown club as Bath Rugby look to end their trophy drought against Exeter Chiefs in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final.
The two sides will renew their West Country rivalry on Good Friday after Chiefs claimed a dramatic 20-18 win in the Aviva Premiership last week.
Their meeting in the league followed the postponement of the final the weekend before due to adverse weather conditions as heavy snowfall covered Kingsholm.
As a born and bred Bathonian, Cook admits he would love to help his side win their first trophy since the European Challenge Cup triumph ten years ago.
“I’m absolutely desperate to win silverware for Bath and this is another opportunity to do that,” he said. “It would also be awesome for the fans as it’s been a while since the club won anything.
“The last trophy was in 2008 and we’re now going for the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2018, so hopefully that is a good omen for us.
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“It’s a dream to play rugby and to win a trophy is one of the things every player wants to achieve, so I just can’t wait to get out there and play the final.”
Cook believes Bath could not be more prepared for the challenge posed by Chiefs, having trained to play their rivals for the last three weeks.
“We were obviously disappointed to lose to Exeter on Friday and it’s not often you get a chance to play the same team a week later, so it’s a good chance for us to respond,” he said.
“It’s bizarre as we have prepared to play Exeter for three weeks in a row now, which is pretty strange, but we know them well enough now and it’s good to have another opportunity.
“I would be lying if I said we were expecting them to field the same team for the final, but we know the way they play and the Exeter brand of rugby.
“I think if we can start well and maintain that level throughout we have enough to beat them, but we have to be smart and be able to adapt on the pitch if it’s not going our way.
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“We know they like to hold on to the ball and put together a large number of phases, so our defence needs to be strong and when we have the ball we have to avoid giving it away easily.”
The defeat to Chiefs at the Rec means the Blue, Black and Whites face a difficult task to make the end-of-season play-offs in the league with just four games remaining.
Bath are currently in eighth position, eight points off Newcastle Falcons in fourth, with Leicester Tigers, Saracens and Gloucester all coming up next.
Cook said the players are focused on winning all of their remaining games, starting by lifting the trophy at Kingsholm – an opportunity the scrum half is particularly relishing.
“It’s fantastic that we get an opportunity to lift a trophy at Gloucester’s stadium,” he said. “I was born in Bath and lived here all my life, so it would be great if we could do it there.
“I don’t see us as the underdogs. It’s a new game, different competition and we have a clean slate, so it’s a good opportunity for us to win a trophy.”
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