With Warren Gatland having scouted at The Rec on Tuesday night, Austin Healey has called on the Lions coach for South Africa in 2021 to have taken note of the performance of Bath hooker Tom Dunn, the uncapped 27-year-old who is thriving under head coach Neal Hatley, the former England assistant. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Play-off chasing Bath were left with their backs to the wall at the break against Gloucester, trailing 13-3, and the situation soon worsened as the visitors moved 20-3 ahead nearing the hour mark.   

Some inspiration was badly needed and Dunn provided it, scoring two tries in five minutes and igniting a comeback that resulted in Bath winning 31-20 and jumping to second in the Gallagher Premiership with one match remaining, a trip to Saracens on October 4. 

Video Spacer

Video Spacer
Jim Hamilton picks his 2021 Lions for South Africa

Dunn made 36 metres off 21 carries in the rain, carrying a metre further than next best in the pack Sam Underhill, while his tackle count of twelve was four better than a trio of his pack teammates. 

Bath’s form since the restart has been sensational and unexpected. Before the lockdown, they had won just seven of 13 matches, but they have won seven of their eight games since the mid-August resumption to give themselves every chance of making the Twickenham final for the first time since 2015.  

Delighted with Dunn’s contribution, Healey tweeted: “A good player and exactly the type of guy that @lionsofficial need around.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked about Healey’s praise in his BT Sport post-game interview after being awarded man of the match, a beaming Dunn said: “Thank you.”   

He also spoke about Bath’s post-lockdown transformation. “You’re talking about the journey we’re on. Covid is a journey for everyone and we came tight together. 

“We have got great togetherness now and this [beating Gloucester] was the next step on that journey. We want to be at Twickenham on October 24 and we had to get five points today to do that. 

“You get what you deserve and we’re working really hard. I honestly think we’re working harder than other teams. Hopefully, that will get us to the semi-finals.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now