Planet Rugby

Ford sees Quins as toughest fixture

19th December 2013 07:31

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mike ford bath

Hard run: Mike Ford

Bath head coach Mike Ford believes this weekend's clash against Harlequins will be the most difficult his side have faced this season.

Harlequins lie two points behind Bath in the Aviva Premiership after nine matches, but have recently completed an impressive double win over French giants Racing Métro.

The match is the beginning of a tough run for Bath, who then travel to Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers in the following weeks.

"There are three big games coming up but it's a good opportunity for the club to see where we are in the pecking order of the competition - we can't wait," Ford told the Bath Chronicle.

"The fact that Harlequins are playing well means it'll be our toughest game of the year.

"I think they have won seven out of eight, or something like that, and rediscovered their identity. They talk a lot about the Quins way and I know Conor O'Shea has been really pleased with that.

"They've had some big wins over the last couple of weeks and they've had a few injuries as well.

"They've got too much experience not to be a good side. You look at the likes of Danny Care, Nick Evans, Nick Easter and Mike Brown, who has been on fire."

Ford also commented on Bath's 'A' league success on Monday night, winning the reserves title by defeating Northampton.

"It keeps the momentum of the club going, there's a good spirit at the moment," added Ford.

"Since I've been here the spirit has been at an all-time high in terms of the guys being happy with the way things are going on the field.

"The competition for places is such that if you are not in the first team you've got to prove your form elsewhere, and that's the A team.

"The guys have bought into that. They are disappointed they are not in the first team but know they have to play well to get back in. The days are gone where your name gets you into the first team."

Springbok flanker Francois Louw is expected to return after being rested over the last fortnight.

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PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058