Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bath are in a good spot to win some silverware- Nathan Catt

For somebody who didn't start taking rugby seriously until he was 14, Nathan Catt hasn't done too bad. Working his way up through the Bath academy and representing England in U18's, U19's and U20's his progression to the Saxons seemed certain, which he gained five years ago against Portugal.
His first start for Bath came against Tigers in 2008 in the EDF Energy cup, with his first league appearance against Worcester Warriors a year later.

Growing in confidence as the season progresses the Prop is becoming more prevalent in the Bath match day squad and enjoying a lot more game time.
After his stint away with the Saxons he's geared up for some big games ahead for Bath, also with his lengthy time at Bath Catt is glad that they are back to their winning ways and deserve some silverware, and he's keen this could be the season to grab some. 

Loving life in the Bath squad I managed to catch up with him at Farleigh house for a quick chat.

It's been a great season so far Bath, the pack are becoming a force in the Premiership, what has helped make it become so much stronger this season?

It's been kind of a mixture really; the coaches laid down their foundations last year and have managed to push it through this year, backed up by some good acquisitions and the players really coming into form, making it into a solid pack and where we are now.

You've managed to work your way up through the Bath Academy who has been your biggest inspiration at the club?

That's a hard one.....I've been here quite a while now, I've had quite a few different coaches and many different senior players who have all chipped in and helped. To be fair, I couldn't just say there's been one person. There's been the likes of Haag, Hats even Flats just too many really.

While Paul James away on international duties during this season it has meant you have had a lot more game time, do you think this has helped improve your form? 

Yeah, definitely! I've obviously been second choice for a while and pick up LV games things like that, so to get a good run of regular games, even in the Premiership has given me some good confidence and a chance to show what I can actually do. 

Your form hasn't gone unnoticed as you've been called back into the Saxons, was it a big surprise to get called up again.

I wasn't expecting it to be honest, as I hadn't started too many games but was delighted! It was great to get that little game time with the Saxons. 

You represented England at U18', U19' and 20's then onto Saxons, which led to much acclaim, was it hard as a young player to take on board?

Not really, because I didn't really think about it to be honest. I just thought about what I needed to do to get even better, I didn't really think about the external factors, I just thought where am now, where do I want to go and how do I get there. You have to make it all about yourself and not listen to opinions, you take them in but you cut off and try not to take too much notice.

For a few seasons you seemed to have drifted off the international radar, how hard has it been to recapture your form and work to getting back up the English ladder? 

Yeah, to a certain degree it's been about getting game time and staying injury free. So hopefully if I can keep getting game time, be in good health and play in a pack playing as well as it a team playing as well as it is, then it should stand you in good stead to get some international recognition in the future.

Between club and international training is there much difference, does it become hard training for a short time with players who you normally play against?

Kind of, You build relationships up in your club and I know most of the Bath boys inside out especially the pack. With the Saxons you meet on the Monday and played  on the Saturday; so you have to quickly get to know people find out how they work, figure out what's going to work best for the team when put together in that short time period, to get enough information through but not to overload us and we end up running around like headless chickens.

Who has been the hardest player you've had to prop up against?

Hard one, Dan Cole is good on his day, yeah probably Dan Cole.

In your time at Bath what has been your most memorable moment? 

Hard to say, unfortunately I've not won any cups since I've been playing. Probably games against Leicester are always good.

Is there any team in particular that you look forward to playing and hope you get selected to play against? 

Yeah!! Any local derby like Gloucester or Exeter and the Leicester games also.

When it's announced that players are leaving, what is the general feeling within the squad?

That's quite difficult really. Because obviously some players are in and out and then other players like Claasens for example, have been there for ages and are a real core of the squad. It just depends really, I suppose it's just the way of the game now, people leave for whatever reason and you just have to get on with it.

This coming weekend Bath are taking on Exeter, with the 36 year unbeaten record against them does it ever play a part in how you look at the game or do you just treat it like just another game?

Well the records there, it always gets mentioned by both sides, it's also a local derby so it's not really just a normal game so both teams will really be out to win this one. It's obviously an important game for either team, so it does always add that little bit of spice. We've got quite a few games against them this season so we need to keep the record rolling.

With the majority of the Players on twitter, have you never been tempted or doesn't it interest you? 

To be fair, the main reason I'm not is I'm quite mischievous and have a dark sense of humour, with players like Ross Batty if I got into a bit of banter with him I'd probably say something that may get me in trouble with the club, so to be safe I try stay away from it. With Ross being a Geordie he's normally hard to understand, if you go out for a drink with him and Davey (Wilson) they become even more and more Geordie until you can hardly understand a word they say!

What would you want to see from the club this season, what do believe they can actually achieve from them this year?

As I mentioned earlier, I've been here a long time now and haven't won anything, so I'm desperate to win something. Bath want some silverware and we're in a good spot to win something, 3rd in the Premiership, a home 1/4 in the Amlin and a Home Semi in the LV this could be the season to do it. Obviously the Prem is the first prize, but the LV and Amlin definitely look good, we need to keep on pushing and hopefully pick something up.
The 'A' league was a good start, unfortunately as it was Franklins Gardens we couldn't travel with the team, it would of been great to be there and celebrate with the team, but getting back at 12 and having training the next day we couldn't go, it would of been a great little day out for the whole squad.

As a squad you do all have time outside of rugby together and seem to have a good bond between you all.

It's important we all get together, go and have a little laugh and joke together outside of rugby, choosing to do it not just being put together. Building bonds and spend time with your mates which is another thing that's making us as more of a complete team this season.

A big thanks to Nathan, let's hope Bath keep to their winning ways and keep the Cheifs record alive this weekend!