Watson has Heineken thirst

Bath captain fired up for start of European campaign

Last Updated: 06/10/10 1:15pm

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Watson: Relishing European clashes

Watson: Relishing European clashes

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Bath skipper Luke Watson has labelled the Heineken Cup the most prestigious club competition in the world ahead of his side's European opener with Biarritz.

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"The Heineken Cup is the most prestigious club competition in world rugby."
Luke Watson Quotes of the week

The South African back-rower joined Bath during last season and played in their final four Heineken Cup matches in that campaign.

And he is now relishing the prospect of a run in the competition, which sees Bath start with a tough contest against last season's runners-up at The Rec on Sunday.

"The Heineken Cup is the most prestigious club competition in world rugby," Watson said.

"Of course, the Super 14 is up there too but I would have to reach the final of the Heineken Cup to tell you about the quality although it is probably very close.

Excitement

"I played eight Super 14 seasons and only half of a Heineken Cup season so it's difficult for me to compare the two but the sheer excitement is probably more international than Super 14.

"I never made a Super 14 final. We narrowly missed out on the semi-finals but it's a highly competitive competition that has been dominated by certain sides - which is pretty similar to the Heineken Cup.

"The Heineken Cup is so strong that it does not matter which Pool you are in. They are all tough and for some reasons you will complain and for other reasons you will be glad.

"Playing Biarritz Olympique first up will be a tough ask of the lads. But it will be a fair reflection of where we are as a side. If you want to reach the latter stages, you have to beat some good sides and it will be a real indication for us."

Bath finished bottom of their pool a season ago but the former Stormers forward thinks that they are much better prepared this time around.

Form

Watson added: "As for my own experiences of the Heineken Cup I played in just a few games last season and at the time Bath were battling to find some form.

"I had only landed in Bath just a week or two before that and we had one or two key injuries - it was not a happy time for the club.

"However, we are confident this is a new start. We have improved as a side, we have a talented group of players and depth in certain positions.

"We have to translate that onto the field. We have started the Premiership pretty well and if we can carry that form into the Heineken Cup, and also develop and progress, then I am confident we will be competitive."

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