Michael Claassens sees a way out of mid-table obscurity for Bath Rugby
Michael Claassens has seen a lot of changes during his five years at The Rec – and insists it is time for Bath Rugby's latest incarnation to prove they can be more than mid-table scrappers, writes Paul Eddison.
Currently seventh in the league, Bath welcome sixth- placed Exeter Chiefs on Saturday in their return to Aviva Premiership action knowing that anything but a win could see them cut adrift in the race for a top four spot.
Capped eight times by his country, Claassens is relishing finally having the chance to work with former Springboks coach Gary Gold.
He said: "I'd heard a lot about Gary but I didn't know him from my time back home so it's great to now have had the chance to work with him.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
"Everyone had said good things about him and since he and the new coaches have come in it's been going well.
"It's been pretty different with what happened over the summer.
"With the new coaches and structures, training is very organised and everyone knows exactly what is expected of them."
Bath entered the European fortnight having lost three of their previous four games in the Premiership, including a West Country derby defeat to Gloucester.
But on Thursday they followed up a 40-17 success in Bucharest with a vital 27-22 victory at Agen, with Claassens named man of the match in the latter.
He said the team are determined to take their attacking form – which saw them score nine tries in their two Amlin matches – into the Premiership.
He added: "We don't want to find ourselves in a position where we are fighting for seventh place, we need to be doing better than that.
"Our defence has generally been pretty good this season but it was nice to get the chance to score some tries as well.
"We scored three tries fairly late on in the game in Agen, so we feel like we are playing some pretty good rugby.
"Now that we have those two wins, though, we need to go and get on a good run.
"It starts against Exeter, who have been playing really well. They have opened it up this season and scored a lot of tries so it's important that our defence is as good as it has been so far this season."
Aviva are proud to be title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby – one of the world's leading rugby union competitions. Each season will feature 135 games, which will be watched by 1.7million people live at the grounds and many more through our broadcast partners Sky, ITV and ESPN – visit www.premiershiprugby. com.