Bath boss Stuart Hooper has moved to play down an injury scare surrounding England star Anthony Watson.

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Watson, one of England’s top performers at the World Cup in Japan, limped out of Bath’s 25-19 Champions Cup defeat against Harlequins.

He went off nursing a leg problem 11 minutes into the second-half.

And the Bath fullback underlined his frustration in front of watching England head coach Eddie Jones by hurling his gum-shield to the ground before leaving the action.

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“He feels all right,” Bath rugby director Hooper said.

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“We were just making sure we looked after him. I think he’s all right, yes.

“It’s not his knee. He just pulled up a bit tight, so we just brought him off.”

England look like being without injured Exeter centre Henry Slade for the early Six Nations action, with the World Cup runners-up facing France in a Paris opener on February 2.

Bath, meanwhile, are staring at a first top-flight European whitewash after Quins won the Pool Three encounter thanks to tries from flanker James Chisholm, wing Gabriel Ibitoye and number eight Alex Dombrandt, while Brett Herron kicked two conversions and two penalties.

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Bath managed three touchdowns of their own – hooker Jack Walker, wing Gabe Hamer-Webb and centre Jackson Willison the scorers – and Freddie Burns added two conversions.

The west country club have never lost all their pool games in a European campaign, but a 16th season of European Cup rugby will officially be their worst if they are toppled by Ulster next Saturday and suffer a sixth successive defeat.

Bath encountered a number of problems in the lineout, and Hooper added: “We are already looking at the detail of what went wrong there.

“It is something we pride ourselves on, so it’s disappointing, but we will fix it for sure. It was a missed opportunity to win a game.”

Quins’ victory means Bath are consigned to finish bottom of the group, and it was an impressive triumph following last week’s 48-10 Gallagher Premiership drubbing against Sale Sharks.

Quins head of rugby Paul Gustard said: “We asked for the team to show character and make more of a statement, and I thought we did that from the word go. Our performance was much improved.”

There was no let-up to Quins’ injury problems though, with skipper Chris Robshaw failing a head injury assessment and hooker Max Crumpton being helped off near the end.

“Adversity can make you or break you,” Gustard added. “We will come through this tough period a better team, better people.

“Every game we play we want to win; it doesn’t matter where you are in the competition. It is important that we keep building momentum.

“We beat Bath and Gloucester at home, we should have beaten Ulster away, we drew with Leicester when we should have won, we produced an abject performance against Sale, and we won tonight.

“All we can do is keep focusing on ourselves and try to get the right result next week (against Clermont Auvergne) to build momentum and continuity leading into Saracens (on January 26).”

– Press Association

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