Bath are currently flying the flag for the Aviva Premiership in Europe after they went to war in their back-to-back fixtures against French heavyweights Toulon in the Champions Cup.
Todd Blackadder’s side came away from the south of France with a losing bonus point while they secured a narrow 26-21 win over their opponents at the Rec at the weekend.
Those two results leave Bath topping Pool 5 with two games remaining – a home tie against PRO12 champions Scarlets before finishing up with an away trip to Italy to face Benetton.
What makes their performances thus far even more impressive is that they secured that win against Toulon without two of their most important players, Taulupe Faletau and Sam Underhill.
Faletau has suffered damage to knee ligaments in the first game at the Stade Mayol while Underhill hasn’t played for Bath since he went off in England’s win over Australia at Twickenham during the November Internationals.
The 21-year-old suffered a concussion in that game, his second of the season, and is still showing symptoms of concussion – as a result, Bath have decided not to risk the player until he is 100% healthy.
“Sam is still really symptomatic,” Blackadder told The Guardian.
“Even last Tuesday he was showing signs of what happened when he was with England. It is one of those really frustrating ones: we want him out there as soon as we can and I hope he is in contention for next week.
“We put him under some physical pressure and he did not feel 100%. We have specialists here and it is symptomatic of concussion. It is one of those things you have to deal with. I have experienced this [in New Zealand] with Kieran Read and Richie McCaw. You have to trust the process: specialists will make the right calls.”
Bath are straight back into Premiership action at the weekend when they face a tricky away trip to the AJ Bell Stadium to take on Sale Sharks before welcoming Wasps to The Rec.