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'He is a hell of a player' - Spencer ready to battle England rival

By PA
Bath v Northampton Saints – Gallagher Premiership – The Recreation Ground

Ben Spencer says that Bath will have to be “right on the money” when they bid for Gallagher Premiership title glory against Northampton.

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The west country club have never been crowned Premiership champions, losing on their two previous Twickenham appearances in 2004 and 2015.

And Saints now stand between them and silverware, which would be Bath’s first major trophy since they lifted the European Challenge Cup 16 years ago.

The game is littered with intriguing head-to-head battles, but none more so than at scrum-half where Bath skipper Spencer opposes current England number nine and fellow in-form catalyst Alex Mitchell.

“I spent a lot of time with him in the Six Nations. He is a hell of a player,” Spencer said.

“We are going to have to be on the money in terms of our discipline. If we start giving penalties away he is dangerous, especially around the fringes.

“He is someone we have talked about this week going into the game. He is a top-quality player, and hopefully someone we can take care of on Saturday.

“We have to be right on the money. They have got threats across the board.”

While Bath have endured a trophy drought, Spencer arrived at the Recreation Ground after winning the Premiership four times and Champions Cup on three occasions with Saracens.

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Spencer, though, feels there is sufficient experience among the Bath squad to hold them in good stead for what is a sold-out final.

“We are in a place now where there is a lot of experience in the group,” he added.

“A few years ago it was probably quite a young and inexperienced group, but we draw on the fact we played Harlequins at Twickenham last year and we learned how to play there.

“It was not in a final, but we said to ourselves that day ‘let’s make sure we do everything we can to be back here next year and play in the final’.

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“If guys have questions around finals rugby, the group is in a great spot and experienced enough to handle the occasion.

“Since I have got here, the club has been through some tough times.

“If we manage to get over the line on Saturday, it will be up there with the best.

“There are no second chances, there is no next week. The small decisions become even bigger, those little moments in games.”

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