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Bath's Watson back, Batty staying

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Bath double as nightmare ends for Watson and Batty decides his future

England international Anthony Watson will make his comeback from injury when Bath face Sale in the Gallagher Premiership on Friday. The 2017 British & Irish Lions has been sidelined for 13 months due to an achilles injury, undergoing two operations.

Watson, who has won 33 caps, lines up at full-back for Bath’s trip to the AJ Bell Stadium. The 25-year-old has not played since England’s defeat to Ireland in their final match of the 2018 Six Nations.

But his return to action is a timely boost for club and country, with Bath still having a chance of reaching the Premiership play-offs and England’s World Cup warm-up Tests being less than four months away.

Meanwhile, Ross Batty has signed a new contract with Bath which will see him enter into a decade of service with the club.

Batty is one of the longest serving players, having joined from Rotherham in 2010, and has gone on to make over 150 appearances.

The hooker said: “I think a lot about the club – I’ve been here nine seasons and feel at home here, so I didn’t want to go anywhere else.  It’s a great environment and I want to continue the good work that’s been started and ultimately win things in a Bath shirt. The potential is there, it’s now all about executing the journey that we are all on.”

Batty brings a great deal of experience to the N02 jersey and believes that the competition with the likes of Tom Dunn and Jack Walker only drives him as a player.

“Between the three of us, we all want to start. No-one wants to be left out or on the bench, so we are all fighting week in, week out for that shirt come the weekend. The competition brings the best out of me and all of us, so that’s only a good thing for the team. I’ve had two seasons hampered by injury, and I just want to get back out there doing what I can for the lads.

“There’s also some outstanding young players coming through the academy. At this stage in my career, it’s really rewarding to use my experience to develop and support them with their journey with the club.

Bath boss Todd Blackadder added: “Ross is a great competitor and has shown that over the years with the club. His set piece and ball carrying are two qualities, which make him a really valuable part of the squad.

“We’ve got some quality players vying for his position and it’s that depth which will push the squad on with Ross being a big part of that.”

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Bath double as nightmare ends for Watson and Batty decides his future