FLANKER Zach Mercer hopes to mark his two-year contract extension at Bath Rugby with a win against local rivals Gloucester in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday (4.30pm).

The 21-year-old put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal to remain a part of Todd Blackadder Farleigh House squad until the conclusion of the 2020/21 season earlier this week.

Mercer has already made 38 appearances for Bath and was rewarded for his domestic efforts earlier this year when picking up his first England cap in May against Barbarians.

The Leeds-born back rower is keen to continue learning under Blackadder, especially in wake of Bath’s disappointing 17-10 defeat to Bristol in their opening Aviva Premiership contest at Ashton Gate last Friday.

“The facilities we use to train on are modern and we have no excuses not to perform,” said Mercer.

“Everything we have is great and Farleigh House is a top place to train.

“Friday’s result (against Bristol) is obviously disappointing. We have to take responsibility as a team - we simply didn’t perform like we have been training.

“But credit where credit is due, Bristol played very well. It was a fantastic atmosphere at Ashton Gate, one of the best I’ve been a part of.

“The good thing for ourselves is that we can learn from our mistakes – when you play well and win games comfortably there’s often not too much you can work on as a team.

“We will recognise our weaknesses and look to bounce back against Gloucester.”

Saturday’s game against Gloucester will be Bath’s opening competitive fixture of the season at home and Mercer hopes his teammates can take full advantage of the club’s supportive home crowd.

With the club’s summer additions including Welsh international Jamie Roberts, New Zealander Jackson Willison and Will Chudley among others, the Bath youngster spoke of the excitement brewing in the Farleigh House camp.

“As a group we had a really strong pre-season. We lost some players, but those that have joined have bonded well,” said Mercer.

“It’s an exciting time for the club, and it’s why I wanted to commit my future here – I can see growth.

“Gloucester have recruited well during the off-season and performed well against Northampton.

“I’m looking forward to it, and to be playing back at home is something to get excited about too.

“The Rec is a special place, and we’re privileged to have such strong local support.”