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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

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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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