Clean bill of health for Bath

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Published: Tuesday 26th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Bath boss Mike Ford has reported a clean bill of health among his squad in the build-up to next Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final against Saracens at Twickenham.

Bath will contest their first Premiership final since losing 10-6 to Wasps 11 years ago, and they have arrived in English domestic rugby’s showpiece occasion on the back of scoring 79 league and play-off tries this season.

“Everyone is fit,” said head coach Ford, following training at Bath’s Farleigh Hungerford base on Tuesday.

“The way the season unfolded, with us not playing every week because we got knocked out of the Champions Cup (in the quarter-finals), we had a couple of weeks off in between games.

“We have been a bit lucky. You have always got to be lucky in terms of injuries, but we were unlucky last October when we had no back-row. We are all fit, and it is a great position to be in.”

This season’s Premiership final has been billed as a classic clash of styles between Bath’s all-singing, all-dancing attacking approach and Saracens’ immense defence and prolific kick/chase game.

And Ford is braced for a fearsome examination from a Saracens side that ended Northampton’s reign as Premiership champions by beating them at Franklin’s Gardens three days ago.

“Saracens’ fundamentals are brilliant,” Ford added. “The desire they have defensively, what they do at the ruck, and the line-speed they’ve got.

“People say the only way you beat Saracens is by playing like Saracens, and I suppose that is one way, but we are going to go another way to try to beat Saracens.

“In the Champions Cup semi-finals this season, Clermont Auvergne the week before had put five tries on Northampton, and then they played Saracens and kicked everything. That’s not Clermont, and they very nearly lost.

“That is not what we are going to do. We are going to carry on playing the way we are playing.

“We have gone from A to B playing rugby that suits us. We are not going to change. Why would we?

“If the rain comes down on Saturday, we will drive them on scrums and go to that contest, because we’ve won games this year playing like that as well.

“We are a heads-up rugby team. We adapt and change. Everyone is talking about our attack and stuff, quite rightly, but if we have to play a little bit differently, the leaders will make those decisions at the weekend.”

Published: Tuesday 26th May 2015 by The News Editor

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