Friday, 11 October 2013

Ross Batty- Rugby, KO's and the Beard!

After a few season at Bath rugby now Ross Batty is now really starting to develop himself into the squad and becoming a regular in the first team.

Formally of Newcastle Falcons and Rotherham he joined the ranks at Bath in 2010, when then forwards coach Martin Haag showed faith in him after getting to know Batty when he was coaching the England U18's side in which Batty featured.

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I was lucky enough to grab a few words with Ross earlier this week before Bath start their European campaign this weekend against Bordeaux. I managed to discuss his early days from school to Newcastle Falcons and about his KO against Tigers. 

Starting off your career with Newcastle Falcons working your way through the ranks from the academy, then moving on to Rotherham, how did it feel to get back into the Premiership with Bath? 

Brilliant, fantastic, it was a great chance to sign for a big club. I really enjoyed my time at Rotherham. It was great to play in a tough league, championship rugby week in week out and to be part of a team and then to move to Bath was a fantastic opportunity. 

Training alongside side such players as Lee Mears and Rob Webber has this helped with your development? 

Mearsy spent a lot of time with me and it was absolutely incredible, always there and always willing to help me out, he's that type if guy who wants you to do well. He put a lot of faith in me, giving me plenty of tips. He's got a wealth of knowledge and an incredible CV, he's been there done that and done everything you could possibly want to do in the game, somebody you'd really like to learn from. 

What was it that made you make the change from Prop to Hooker?
I started out playing in the back row, but moved into the front row. With my build I was not really going to be one of the big guy props like Davey Wilson, with my back row experience hooker was the right choice a mix between prop and back row. There's so much more to think about as hooker, with the line outs, scrums and still getting about the pitch to the break down, a really enjoyable challenge. 

You went to Bernard castle school, which is well known for its sport especially Rugby, is that where you found your passion? 

I suppose yeah it did come from there, well definitely helped it. It was a great school and had a really good set up, they were definitely there to encourage you and help drive you on. Definitely a big part of my game and love of the game.

How has is it been linking up with some of your ex-Falcons team mates at Bath. 

In the rugby world everybody knows each other as you play against each other and get to know the guys from other teams. But moving club and meeting up with fellow team mates can help, linking up with Davey Wilson again as we were in the academy together and now Micky Young has signed there's a few old familiar faces.

While you were at Falcons you were part of their Middlesex Sevens winning team, did you find that beneficial to your game play?

Sevens is a tough game, but is really helpful with adding extra to your game. Due to my old back row play I was ok at getting around the field and it helps sharpen up your awareness and skills which you can move into your normal game. It's great fun to play a good learning tool but also really hard work.

How was it to get back to play at Kingston park for the first game of the season and win so well, in Newcastle's individual weather system?

Ha yeah it certainly is an 'individual' form of weather up there! A Friday night, under the lights and in that rain it was going to be a tough game. So glad the way we played and how well we dealt with the 'washing machine' weather. To take any win there is hard work with such a strong crowd, a great way to start the season.

Watching it on TV I was certainly glad I wasn't playing in that.

Yeah certainly was fun, you definitely had the right idea staying at home watching it, some of us weren't that lucky hahahaha.

During the Tigers match you unfortunately got knocked unconscious. The silence around the ground showed great respect and obviously a lot of concern, it's never nice to see a player in that situation. How much of that day can you remember?

Not a lot to be honest! I can remember going in for a tackle and then about four hours later. Apparently my girlfriend was sat beside me at the hospital and I looked at her several times as though I didn't know her. I've been told by many of the guys that I was out for a while but really don't know much about it. 
The messages of support and get well soon I received on Twitter from the players and the fans was amazing, it really showed a great sense of family that surrounds the club which is what makes it so special to be apart of it.

Twitter is really good for us fans as we are able to communicate with you guys and get an insight the the club, especially the banter that goes on.

The banter between the boys is brilliant, they're a great set of guys and it's a pleasure to play with them. Because of the banter and enjoyment it makes it a pleasure to go to work in the morning knowing your going to have a good laugh with some of your mates.

On the note of banter lets get onto the beard!!! How much ribbing do you get? 

(Laughs) yeah I do get a lot of stick about it, with plenty of nicknames to go with it one being tramp! But to be honest I don't think it'll be around for too much longer as the girl friend really isn't a fan, and at times you need to keep them happy.

But the beard is almost becoming synonymous with you like Biggs and his hair.

Haahaa I don't think I've quite hit the heights of Biggsy's hair but thanks! I'll see how it goes but don't think it will last too long.

Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me, do you think you'll feature on Saturday against Bordeaux?

Been a pleasure and yeah I'll get a good run out it should be a great game, the French clubs are always tough so we'll have to be at our best.

A big thanks to Ross for taking time out to talk to me and hopefully the beard can stay and he can carry on looking like Bath's ginger version of Chabal! Good luck at the weekend and let's hope the Bath European campaign can't start with a good win and continue through the rest of the competition.

Allez Bath!!

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