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Bath's Sam Vesty relishing chance to face Leicester

Sam Vesty
Vesty spent eight years at Welford Road before joining Bath

Bath's Sam Vesty is relishing the prospect of taking on his former club Leicester at the Rec and says a good start is vital for the hosts.

Vesty expects the Tigers to draft in international players Ben Youngs, Toby Flood and Dan Cole, but believes they could be slow to get up to speed.

"Hopefully it will take them a while to get back into the Tigers way and we'll capitalise," he told BBC Somerset.

"If we can get up in points early on, we can make them chase the game."

Bath were in a fine run of form with five wins on the spin before losing at Gloucester last time out in a match over-shadowed by Olly Barkley breaking his leg.

That injury has opened the door for Vesty to step into a re-jigged backline and he believes the two weeks break will benefit fifth-placed Bath, who are pushing to get back into the play-off places.

"When you have time off you either rest on your laurels and think you're better than you are, or you come off a loss and know the things you have to work on," added the 29-year-old.

Every game's important, but games against Leicester are special. It's going to be a terrific occasion and a hell of a collision

Steve Meehan

"You think about them which keeps everybody keen and sharp.

"The mood in the camp's good, we had a week's break and the ground has firmed up and it looks like back's type of rugby rather than the quagmires we've been playing on."

The clubs have met twice this season already, both at Leicester with honours even at one win apiece, while the last time the sides met at the Rec in September 2009 the match ended all square at 20-20.

In an effort to find the edge this time Vesty and his fellow former Tiger Lewis Moody have had their brains picked by Bath's coaching team.

Head coach Steve Meehan told BBC Points West: "We've tapped into Sam's knowledge and, while Lewis is on the sidelines and has given his opinions, to have somebody on the pitch knowing what it's about is a greater advantage still.

Meehan expecting 'fierce' Tigers contest

Vesty added: "I've a little bit of inside knowledge on most of the players there, the little things and game plans that they've got.

"But at the end of the day if a guy runs at you you've got to tackle him and try not to get tackled by him. It's not that complicated. You've got to remember to concentrate on yourselves as well as the opposition and not get too dogmatic about what they're doing.

"It's going to be a real good game to be playing in, they've been playing really well and whoever plays it will be a strong side and a tough battle."

Australian Meehan added: "Every game's important, but games against Leicester are special.

"It's going to be a terrific occasion and a hell of a collision."

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see also
Gloucester 34-22 Bath
05 Mar 11 |  English
Leicester 12-26 Bath
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Hipkiss to leave Tigers for Bath
02 Feb 11 |  Bath
Leicester 21-15 Bath
23 Oct 10 |  English
Tigers fly-half Vesty joins Bath
07 Apr 10 |  Bath
Bath 20-20 Leicester
26 Sep 09 |  English

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