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'Thank God he has left the league': Ojomoh names toughest opponent

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Bath midfielder Max Ojomoh has admitted he is glad that Nathan Hughes has quit the Gallagher Premiership in favour of a likely switch to the Top League in Japan. The 21-year-old England prospect this week answered a variety of questions from fans during a short video interview posted on his club’s social media channels.

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Among the queries was a question via Instagram that wanted to know who was the best player that Ojomoh had ever played against. In reply, he said: “I’ll do someone who I was glad I never had to play against – and played with – and that was Nathan Hughes.

“Thank God he has left the league. He was huge and when we set up for set-piece defence or attack, knowing he was on our side and not on the other’s, it filled me with a lot of confidence.”

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Hughes, the 31-year-old Fijian-born ex-England No8, arrived on loan at The Rec last January after slipping down the pecking order at Bristol. He made just seven Bath appearances, but Ojomoh was a teammate on five of those occasions, twice as the starting out-half and three more times at inside centre.

The expectation with Bristol having to trim their wage bill was that Hughes, a big-money recruit from Wasps in 2019, would try his hand in the French Top 14 next season. However, the trail with Clermont turned cold and the expectation now is that he will feature in the 2023 Top League in Japan.

Two other answers from Ojomoh also piqued the interest. Asked did he always want to follow in the footsteps of his dad – ex-England international Steve – and become a rugby player, he answered: “To be fair, a lot of the chat when I was younger got to me, saying I wouldn’t be as good as him. So it was always just trying to prove a point and he seems to have also enjoyed it as well. I know there is a pathway there.”

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As for naming his favourite all-time try, Ojomoh plumped for a score by Jason Robinson, another ex-England international, from 2001. “Jason Robinson, the Lions against Australia. He got it on the outside, a big shimmy, took it on the outside, ran into the corner, classic fist bump after.”

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