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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 17:34 UK

Bath's Luke Watson in confident mood for Tigers match


Watson amazed by change in form

Bath number eight Luke Watson says the team are in great shape for their play-off semi-final against Leicester at Welford Road on Sunday.

Back in April the Tigers trounced Steve Meehan's side 43-20, but Bath have not lost a game since then.

"We're going up there with a lot more confidence having learnt a few hard lessons," Watson told BBC Points West.

"It's been a brilliant season, a very exciting one for us. I'm looking forward to a fantastic game."

The 26-year-old South African arrived at the Rec in November when Bath were languishing near the foot of the Premiership.

At Christmas they had won just one of their 10 league fixtures but their fortunes changed with a home win against West country rivals Gloucester.

It's been one of the best turnarounds I've ever heard of. It's almost been scary being involved in it

Luke Watson

Since then Bath have won 11 out of 12 matches to secure the fourth and final play-off spot.

"It's been one of the best turnarounds I've ever heard of. It's almost been scary being involved in it," said Watson.

"We scraped through the beginning and slowly built up momentum and form and played some good rugby towards the end of the season.

"A lot of credit to the players and also to the coaching staff who stuck by us and never panicked."

A key part of Bath's resurgence in form has been the return to the side of Olly Barkley who has linked up well with another form player, Butch James at fly-half.

Barkley along with Matt Banahan, Shontayne Hape, Lee Mears, David Flatman and David Flatman have all been called into the England squad for the summer tour of Australia and New Zealand.

"I'm very happy for the guys," said Watson. "There were high-fives around the gym and they've worked really hard and deservedly are there."

And the Springbok says that new owner Bruce Craig has already made a positive impression on the club.

"Bruce is a great guy and very passionate about rugby. He's had a nice impact on the team so far."

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