BATH RUGBY: James sets sights on Brive encounter

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Paul James says Bath’s spirits remain undampened despite three successive home defeats Paul James says Bath’s spirits remain undampened despite three successive home defeats

PAUL James is adamant that Bath’s season will not be thrown off course by the uncharacteristic wobble in results of the last month.

Bath welcome French side Brive to the Rec on Sunday (2pm) with a place in the last four of the Amlin Challenge Cup at stake, in the unusual position of having lost their last three home matches.

League defeats to leaders Saracens and play-off rivals Sale on home turf – as well as a LV= Cup reverse at the hands of Exeter Chiefs – have taken a little of the wind out of Bath’s sails.

Bath also crashed out of the Amlin competition to Stade Francais at this stage last season, but Wales international tighthead prop James doesn’t believe the squad’s confidence has been adversely affected.

“The vibe is still high in the camp. Everyone is still working hard and we know there are improvements to be made,’’ he said.

“The attitude in training and around the camp is no different to the beginning of the season.

“Everyone is pulling together and working hard.

“There is something on every game now, that’s the way you have got to look at it.

“But as a player and a squad, you have got to focus in on one game at a time.

“Last season is last season, I think we’re a lot better now than we were then. We can’t look back.’’

James reckons Bath’s mixture of up-and-coming youngsters and experienced veterans will serve them well as the season reaches the sharp end.

“It’s good to have a blend. You’ve got young boys coming through, but then you do need your senior players standing up and trying to lead the team forward,’’ he added.

“I’ve had a look at them (Brive) and they are like most French clubs, they have got a bit of flair there if you give them space.

“They’ve got a big pack and it’s going to be a big challenge up front.’’

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