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RUGBY: Perenise excited by squad depth
10:44am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Sport
BATH now have a squad to compete on all fronts – including the Amlin Challenge Cup – according to prop Anthony Perenise.
The 30-year-old Samoan made his first start of the season in their European opener last weekend as Bath edged out Bordeaux-Begles in France.
The prop has had to make do with five substitute appearances in the Aviva Premiership so far this campaign.
But in Europe he was given his head and it is not just the front-row where Bath have strength in depth.
In the back line the additions of the likes of George Ford, Gavin Henson and Jonathan Joseph over the summer have bolstered what was already a fearsome looking line-up.
And after falling at the quarter-final stage last year to Stade Francais, the versatile Perenise insists he and his teammates have unfinished business with the competition.
"As a club we have spoken about every competition being important to us," he said.
"We were disappointed with how it went in this competition last year, we feel like we let ourselves down.
"Of course we want to get into the top six this year in the Aviva Premiership but that does not mean we cannot go well in every other competition.
"We have great strength in depth in every position, it's a great squad and people are keen to take their chances when they get them."
Perenise and co welcome Newport Gwent Dragons to the Rec this weekend for their second Pool game on Saturday.
And the prop is hoping that he and his teammates can dole out some revenge for their pre-season defeat to the Welsh region.
"Obviously we won't be reading too much into that pre-season game," he added.
"The teams will be very different from that but we know what sort of side they are.
"They have started this season very well and we want to continue where we left off last weekend in France.
"We had to front up, particularly in the forwards, because they had some big units but we were very pleased to come through in the end."
Bath full-back Ollie Devoto has been cited for an alleged head butt in Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup victory in Bordeaux.
Devoto, who was a second-half substitute in the 15-6 triumph is alleged to have been involved in an incident with Bordeaux winger Blair Connor and faces a disciplinary hearing in Dublin tomorrow after which he could face a ban of between four and 52 weeks if found guilty.
Meanwhile, fellow full-back Nick Abendanon could return in Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup clash against Newport Gwent Dragons.
Abendanon, 37, who had toe surgery in the summer, has not featured since April, but travelled on standby with the squad to France last weekend.
Forwards coach Neal Hatley said: "Bendy has been training now for two or three weeks. He’s been out for five or six months and we’d never just throw them back the week they start training. We’ve given him two or three weeks.
“He went with us on standby to Bordeaux just to get him back into the swing of things, making matchday meetings and things like that, hoping that he would be involved in the next week or two.”
Club captain Stuart Hooper is also set to return against the Dragons, although fellow locks Dave Attwood and Dominic Day are unavailable.
Bath remain hopeful that number eight Leroy Houston's shoulder injury is not as serious as first feared.
Houston was forced off early in the Premiership defeat to Sale a fortnight agon and Hatley added: "We've chatted with the physios but we thought it was going to be a lot longer than it is.
"We don't have a 100 per cent timescale on it but it's not as bad as we thought. The initial thoughts were 10-12 weeks, but hopefully it's going to be nowhere near that, so that's good news.''
MORE FROM PERENISE, LOCK RYAN CALDWELL AND FORWARDS COACH HATLEY IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES
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