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'It was tough. I've not played fly-half professionally, I've never started at 10'

By PA
Cameron Redpath /Getty

Cameron Redpath was delighted to be back on a rugby pitch after eight months injured but disappointed he could not prevent Bath from suffering a heavy 39-21 Heineken Champions Cup defeat away to La Rochelle.

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Despite a bright start from the visitors, the result was never in doubt from the moment Pierre Popelin registered a couple of early penalties, after Ben Spencer had failed to give Bath an early lead from the tee.

“It was tough – a bit of rustiness for me. Eight months, with two operations, is a long time and I was buzzing to be back,” said Redpath.

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“It’s nice to be back playing rugby again. It’s been a long eight months and it’s been tough.

“Obviously, it was a tough game and they’re a big, big side. A physical side who get their roles right and they’ve got some big backs as well.

“It’s a bit colder than I thought as well. I thought France was pretty warm and my knee doesn’t do well in the cold, but it’s just nice to be back to be honest.”

La Rochelle were in no mood to welcome Redpath back to action gently, with the home side following their early penalties with a try for Jonathan Danty.

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The hosts crossed for a second try through forward Remi Picquette and the second half began in the worst possible fashion for Bath, with Tom Ellis sent to the sin bin.

La Rochelle made the visitors pay almost instantly, with Picquette blasting his way over for his second try before Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule also crossed over to make it 39-0.

Bath rallied and quickly registered three converted tries around the hour mark. Johannes Jonker, Joe Simpson and Ruaridh McConnochie all crossed as they reduced the deficit to a more respectable 18 points.

Redpath admitted it was difficult starting at fly-half, adding: “It was tough. I’ve not played fly-half professionally, I’ve never started as fly-half.

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“I’ve come on when I’m needed to but it’s different. Calling players, just knowing all the players after eight months, I’m a bit rusty. But hopefully I’ve got that out now.”

He looked to the positives and praised Will Butt for his contribution, saying: “There were a couple of good moments there.

“Someone like Will Butt coming on, he made a big impact and played a big part in two of the tries at least.

“So it was really nice to see us score a couple of tries in the second half. The first half was just settling in. I made a few errors which isn’t great, but it’s nice to see us score a few tries.”

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Shaylen 2 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 8 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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