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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Monday, 25 April 2011 14:31 UK

Steve Meehan tips Matt Banahan for captaincy position

Matt Banahan breaks against Wasps
Banahan caused Wasps problems from inside centre and scored two tries

Steve Meehan has identified Matt Banahan as a future Bath captain and believes he should also be considered for the role at international level.

Banahan starred at inside centre for Bath in the 43-10 win against Wasps.

"People aren't as aware as they should be that Matt has real leadership qualities," departing Bath head coach Meehan told BBC Somerset.

"He's an excellent talker on the field and my feeling is that in years to come he should be captaining at least Bath."

The 24-year-old giant back built his reputation on the wing but was pushed to outside centre earlier in the season for both club and country.

He started against Samoa at Twickenham in November in the number 13 shirt and was called up to replace injured skipper Mike Tindall at centre for the Six Nations match in Ireland.

And after a stellar team performance at Twickenham, in which Banahan scored two of Bath's six tries, Meehan believes the club should continue with the experiment of playing him in the number 12 shirt next season, particularly with Shontayne Hape leaving and Olly Barkley injured.

Meehan added: "He was complaining about the amount of running he had to do at the break, but I thought he was brilliant.

"He gave us a target and got us going forward. He's a clever player and getting him a little bit closer in got him involved a little bit more.

"But everybody delivered. We had to make the right decisions and execute well off the back of Wasps errors and that's what happened which is why we got away from them in the first half.

"The errors come because of pressure and defensively we were pretty strong, very disciplined in our line and when the turnovers came we shifted the ball to space."



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see also
Wasps 10-43 Bath
23 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union
Meehan reflects on Bath years
21 Apr 11 |  Bath
Head coach Meehan to leave Bath
29 Mar 11 |  Bath
Exiles capture Bath centre Hape
22 Feb 11 |  London Irish
Leg break ends Barkley's season
07 Mar 11 |  Bath
England pick Banahan for Dublin
17 Mar 11 |  English
England 26-13 Samoa
20 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Giant Banahan handed big chance
19 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Banahan braced for centre switch
17 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union


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