Planet Rugby

Derby day excites Hooper

24th October 2013 07:59

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SKY_MOBILE Stuart Hooper - Bath Rugby captain

Excited: Stuart Hooper

Bath skipper Stuart Hooper has admitted his team-mates are relishing the challenge of a Premiership West-Country derby against Gloucester.

Gloucester travel to the Rec following the two-week European hiatus, and Hooper says the focus in training is now firmly on this fixture.

"They are huge games - historically Bath v Gloucester is as big as it gets for us," Hooper told the Bath Chronicle.

"It's massive. We have been talking all week about the importance of it, making sure we are well prepared for the occasion and making sure we know what it's all about. We are all really looking forward to it.

"There's definitely a bit of a buzz. It'd be pretty boring to say there was no buzz for this - it's why you play the sport."

With Friday's visitors suffering defeats at Kingsholm to Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs, some have highlighted a perceived weakness in the Gloucester pack.

"I think they've been given a bit of stick about it but the point with them is that when they have been given stick they've reacted well and put in some pretty good performances," said Hooper.

"They beat Perpignan at home and are no mugs in the front five. It's crazy people talking about these guys being a poor side.

"They've got some super exciting backs, which will be good for the neutral to watch but not so good for us to try to tackle but we will do our best.

"The other thing to remember is that when you've got a derby day, form and league position go out of the window. It's about getting down to it for 80 minutes and whoever is best on the night wins the game."

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