RUGBY: Attacking game all by design for Wilson

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Bath prop David Wilson Bath prop David Wilson

BATH’S brand of rugby has certainly been keeping the Rec faithful on the edge of their seats this year and according to prop David Wilson, their attacking intent is no coincidence.

The West Country side are not completely throwing caution to the wind but a new look back-line, including exciting youngsters Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph and academy product Ollie Devoto, are adding spark to forward grit.

And despite his tender years new fly-half George Ford has kept the engine room purring while leading by example with his boot, having racked up 111 points through nine games – earning him the title of Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November.

Results have not been sacrificed for style either as Bath approach the Aviva Premiership’s Christmas schedule in third place.

And tighthead Wilson points to a slight change of philosophy that has given his side a shot in the arm – and admits their new-found verve is capturing the players’ imagination.

“We have recruited well this season, have got a decent squad and lots more strength in depth so if there’s anyone missing they can step in,” he said.

“George Ford has relished working with his dad (head coach Mike Ford) and has really come through, and I think he’s helped to facilitate what is happening.

“But this year we have tried to play more attacking rugby and that’s what we all wanted to do, play with a more ball in hand – last year, we kicked our position away a bit too often.

“I think everyone, all the players and coaches, made an effort to change that – even at the back end of last season that’s what we wanted to do.

“It’s going to get you wins because if you have the ball you’re either going to score tries or stop the opponents from scoring.

“Sometimes kicking for territory can become a little bit dull and it’s always best to play with a bit more excitement and you’re more motivated to play when you enjoy the style of game you’re playing.

“It’s just the little things that have made the difference and it’s really worked so far.”

One man always at the heart of Bath’s attack is wing Matt Banahan, who is fresh off a four-try display against Rugby Mogliano in the Amlin Challenge Cup – on his 150th appearance for the club.

And with Harlequins in store at The Rec this weekend, Wilson believes the 26-year-old could yet add more scores to his tally.

“When he is in form Matt Banahan is one of the best players I’ve ever played with and hopefully he can carry on in the same vein against Quins,” added Wilson, who may miss the game himself with a calf injury.

“He’s the kind of player you want around the club and it just sums up what he likes when he performs like that on his 150th appearance.”

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