World news – GB – Lewis Moody excited to see Joe Cokanasiga return as he makes huge Bath claim


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Lewis Moody has tipped former side Bath to make it to the Premiership final after their incredible form following the return of Premiership rugby.

Stuart Hooper’s side has won six out of seven since the restart on August 15, with a fiery clash against West Country rivals Gloucester to contend with on Tuesday night.

While the clash at The Rec promises to be as enthralling and dramatic as ever between the local rivals, the former England captain expects Bath to make it to Twickenham and even predicted their potential opponent.

He told “I know you’ve got Exeter who are going good guns, Sale and Wasps as well, but Bath have been the most consistent.

“I’ve been so impressed with their return post-COVID and I don’t whether it is down to a number of changes behind the scenes, Neil Hatley sort of has full control behind the coaching reigns and the players speak very highly of him.

“But also, when I chat to a few of the players and a few of the guys around the team, actually the number of sessions and the intensity of the sessions has been a lot lower than it normally would be in the build-up to the Premiership season, because of various reasons.

“And I think the fact they have the majority of the squad to pick from and people are feeling fresh clearly has come full circle into the display on the pitch.

“The thing that most impresses me about Bath is, all of a sudden, it seems like their strength in depth in various positions is vast.

“Anthony Watson comes back and what an unbelievable talent he is, brilliant work ethic and he drives standards in training.

“I think have got the balance right; they’ve got a good mix of experience and strength in depth with the young lads coming through and you’ve got a coaching team that’s still settled, confident and feels in charge of what they are doing.

“You’ve got a young man in Stuart Hooper who has spent five or six years learning the trade and coming through and you feel this side have real, genuine contenders.

“I see Bath making it to a final and if they do that, which it probably will be against Exeter, then it would be a mouth-watering one.”

As well as Watson coming back into the fold, Joe Cokanasiga makes his return to the 23-man matchday squad after 11 months out of action.

The 22-year-old was tipped as a potential England star at the World Cup in Japan, yet was ruled out with a nasty knee injury.

However, after returning from his lay-off, Moody is keen to see what the 6ft 4ins winger is capable of delivering before England’s Autumn Nations Cup campaign gets underway next month.

The former England captain added: “Joe was so exciting to watch when he burst onto the England scene last season and with Bath he has been doing wonders

“So to see him injured for so long is very frustrating and a big loss for club and country, it will be fascinating to see how his conditioning is when he comes back – he’s an enormous lump of a player!

“I’m sure with all the challenges off the field he has had, I’m sure it will help to keep him motivated and I am excited to see Joe Cokanasiga back.

“He’s such a talented player and when he was on fire last year he really did carve it up.”

BT Sport is the home of Gallagher Premiership Rugby. Watch Bath v Gloucester on Tuesday 22nd September from 5.15pm on BT Sport 1

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