Posted 22nd Sep 2021

Excitement and ambition levels high as Team Bath men’s 1st XV prepare to resume BUCS Super Rugby action after long wait

It may be 18 months since their last league match but ambition remains high for the University of Bath men’s 1st XV ahead of their eagerly-awaited return to action in the 2021-22 BUCS Super Rugby season.

The Rengen-sponsored squad make the journey to Yorkshire to face Leeds Beckett on Wednesday 29th September (kick-off 2pm) and can’t wait to get going as the country’s leading higher-education rugby institutions resume rivalries following the postponement of the 2020-21 campaign.

Back-row forward Ed Ashcroft, who will co-captain Team Bath with George Cave this season, said: “It’s great to be back together and we’re all enjoying each other’s company. We’ve had some good training weeks since August and everything is really positive. There are a lot of new faces but they have settled in quickly and there is so much excitement ahead of the season start at Beckett.”

Team Bath’s last competitive match in March 2020, the final round of league fixtures during the 2019-20 season, was also against Leeds Beckett but much has changed for all 11 clubs in the competition since then with two years of new intake having never experienced BUCS Super Rugby before while a host of established players have graduated.

Aaron James talks to his players during pre-season training. PICTURES: Bryn Vaile for Matchtight

Aaron James, Head of Rugby at the University of Bath, said: “I think it’s unknown what to expect having missed a year. We don’t know how good the opposition are and until we get into the season we won’t know how good our level is but we’re really positive about the work we’ve been doing in training and how the guys have been connecting.

“The mood in the squad is really good. They’re happy to be back with each other and back with their mates, that whole camaraderie that team sport gives you is really showing through.

Pre-season training began in August

“We’d always like to finish in the top four and I think that is achievable and realistic. We have ambitions to win the BUCS Super Rugby league but we want to play a brand of rugby that the guys like and can enjoy the experience.”

Ashcroft, who was a regular starter for Team Bath during the 2019-20 season, added: “We’ll try to be a team that keeps the ball alive, looks to play expansive rugby from anywhere and is exciting to watch.

“It’s a long journey up to Leeds for our first match but it’s about getting to know what we want to do, how we want to play, getting our tactical game right and hopefully that will help us get a good start to the season.”

The first opportunity for the new-look team to run out in front of home fans at the Team Bath Sports Training Village comes on Wednesday 6th October as they play host to local rivals Hartpury.

This will be the fifth season of BUCS Super Rugby, which has provided a high standard of competition for student-rugby players and a platform for many to develop their skills and progress into the professional game.

They include a host of Team Bath players who have gone on to play in the Premiership and PRO15 leagues, as well as internationally, including former captains Will Britton and Tom Doughty, who now play for Gloucester and Bath Rugby respectively, and Jack Kenningham, who helped Harlequins win the Premiership title in June and is part of Eddie Jones’ training squad ahead of England’s Autumn internationals.

Click here to find out more about combining study and rugby at the University of Bath.

Other news articles

The University of Bath men's rugby club celebrate after winning the Bath Combination Cup final at The Rec, home of Bath Rugby, on 8th May 2024. PICTURE CREDIT: Nick Perry Photography
University of Bath men’s rugby club are winners at The Rec after brilliant Bath Combination Cup Final clash with Chippenham

The University of Bath men’s rugby club finished their season with a trophy after beating Chippenham RFC 31-25 in a top-quality Bath Combination Cup Final at The Rec. Ed Shepherdson scored two first-half tries, both converted by James Beverley...

Read More
Pictures of University of Bath Rugby Club's Will Jeanes and Iwan Price-Thomas playing for England Students against France at Coventry RFC on 4th May 2024. CREDIT: THREE2/England Rugby Unis
University of Bath rugby duo enjoy “absolute privilege” of representing England Students in 13-try Le Crunch classic against France

University of Bath Rugby Club duo Will Jeanes and Iwan Price-Thomas both started for England Students in their annual fixture against France Universities. Second-row forward Jeanes, who studies Sports Performance, and full-back Price-Thomas, who graduates in Sport Management &...

Read More
A picture of Johann van Graan, Bath Rugby Head of Rugby, with Jack Woods, Kepu Tuipulotu, Connor Treacey, Charlie Griffin and Tyler Offiah at Farleigh House - the five players will join the University of Bath and Bath Rugby Academy in 2024-25
Fantastic five all set to combine top-class rugby with first-class education at University of Bath after joining Bath Rugby Academy

Five more exciting young talents will be combining their burgeoning rugby careers with studying at the University of Bath from the 2024-25 season and academic year. Connor Treacey, Charlie Griffin, Tyler Offiah, Kepu Tuipulotu and Jack Woods have all...

Read More
Team Bath BUCS Super Rugby Sponsors
Partners and Suppliers