BATH head coach Mike Ford believes his side's dual-training stint with Super League champions Wigan Warriors this week has boosted their preparations for the start of the Aviva Premiership season at Sale on September 6.

The cross-code sessions took place at Bath's Farleigh House base this week, with Wigan without a fixture because they are out of rugby league's Challenge Cup.

Ford, himself a former rugby league man, said: ""Both Union and League can learn a lot from each other.

"Obviously I come from a League background, and started my career at Wigan, so knew the various ways in which this couple of days of joint training could help us prepare for the new season.

"Pre-season has been a tough eight weeks or so, so it has been really good for us to be able to give the players something new to think about, a fresh way of looking at things, and a different contest in training.

"Being able to have players other than our own squad to run against has been really beneficial as we look to the Sale game in September."

“Wigan have been brilliant, and challenged us in exactly the way I intended. They are a very smart side, and Shaun (Wane) has done a fantastic job with them. I’d like to thank him and his squad, and hope this relationship can continue in the future.''

Wigan head coach Wane said: "We'd have liked to have been playing this weekend but unfortunately we are out of the Challenge Cup so when Mike offered us the chance to come down here it was one we couldn't turn down.

"Mike and I played together back when we were both at Wigan so it was an easy conversation to have.

"Mike has his thoughts on how he would like Bath to play rugby next season and I take it as a compliment that he contacted me to ask if we could come down.

"For us it has been something a bit different and has given us something extra which I hope can help spur us on as we look to finish the season strongly and defend our Super League title.

"I'd like to thank Mike and everyone at Bath for their hospitality throughout our time here."

Bath travel to face Jersey in a friendly on Saturday.