Jump to main content

Watson impresses for Bath as injury comeback continues

Watson impresses for Bath as injury comeback continues

A pair of England’s back-three stars impressed on the final day of the Premiership Rugby regular season as Anthony Watson and Joe Cokanasiga both scored tries to help Bath dramatically secure Champions Cup rugby next season.

Watson continued his comeback from an Achilles injury sustained in the 2018 Championship that sidelined him for 13 months by finishing off a neat team move on his 100th Bath appearance after just three minutes against Leicester Tigers.

England prop Ellis Genge had barrelled over for a try in response before powerful winger Cokanasiga – who impressed against Italy in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations – restored the West Country side’s lead.

But Bath still required a late score from Jacques van Rooyen, converted by former Wales international Rhys Priestland, to snatch a 32-31 triumph that secured sixth spot and another campaign of top-tier European rugby.

Those performances will have piqued Eddie Jones’ interest ahead of a big autumn but the England coach was at Wasps’ crucial clash with Harlequins in person.

He saw lock Joe Launchbury produce a typically all-action display in both defence and attack, while Quins scrum-half Danny Care grabbed a try thanks to his quick-thinking by dotting down on the base of the post.

Harlequins needed to win to try and snatch fourth spot, and a semi-final place, from Northampton Saints but James Lang’s long-range 80th-minute penalty attempt came up agonisingly short as Wasps triumphed 27-25.

Saints had lost to 40-21 to table-toppers Exeter Chiefs but it mattered not, as Quins’ defeat ensured there will be a rematch at Sandy Park in the semi-finals next Saturday

England trio Henry Slade, Ben Moon and Luke Cowan-Dickie all dotted down for the Chiefs to make a statement ahead of the semi-final and the autumn.

Meanwhile, one of the stars of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations – Wales winger Josh Adams – scored a try on his final Worcester Warriors appearance before moving to Cardiff Blues over the summer.

That 76th-minute score made him the Warriors’ all-time top Premiership Rugby try-scorer with 26 and sparked a remarkable late comeback against Saracens, as Scotland international Duncan Weir’s penalty with the last kick of the game secured a 31-29 victory.