David Denton has admitted that it took him a while to get used to life at Bath – but now the back-row is firing on all cylinders and aiming to hit top form ahead of the upcoming Calcutta Cup match.
The 25-year-old, who has 32 Scotland caps to his name, moved to the Aviva Premiership side in early November from Edinburgh Rugby after impressing Bath head coach Mike Ford during the World Cup.
He played particularly well in the tight quarter-final defeat against Australia at Twickenham, but a niggle picked up soon after and the quickness of the move to Bath caught him slightly on the hop.
He also had to get used to the different style of rugby down south while Bath have not been on top form in the league, sitting ninth, but Denton now feels at home at the Recreation Ground.
“The Bath interest came a bit out of the blue – I thought they were pretty well-stocked in the back-row department – in early November,” Denton explained.
“I had to make a decision pretty quickly, but when I looked at their squad and the quality that is in it and spoke to the people from the club I thought that it was a place that I could fit in at pretty quickly.
“As the move happened so fast it did take me a few weeks to get used to everything. The style of rugby down here in England is different and, as a No 8, you don’t get so much time with your hands on the ball to make yards in attack.
“I have started to think a few phases ahead of the play to make sure I am in better positions to get on the ball and the other players around me have been really great in helping me get used to the systems and tactics.
“Off the field Bath is a lovely place so exploring the area has been great and I feel more comfortable on the pitch now.”
Denton and his club-mates have Europe on their minds at the moment with a big Champions Cup match against Leinster this coming Saturday, but like every passionate Scot he is already thinking about the Six Nations which begins for Scotland on 6 February with a home clash against England.
And the Zimbabwean-born player believes the Scots can go on and perform well in the tournament and make up for last year’s wooden spoon.
“I know after the World Cup we were all very down because we had put so much into the Australia game only to be pipped at the death,” he said.
“Everyone has asked me about my thoughts on that last minute penalty award to Australia, but for me it is what it is – we lost the game and we have to move on.
“Once we had all left the Scotland camp and went our separate ways I had time to reflect on the whole campaign and I think as an international team we are certainly heading in the right direction.
“The squad all get on really well with each other, there is great competition for places and Vern Cotter is a good man to work for.
“We will not be getting too ahead of ourselves though because we know that we will be coming up against five quality sides and of course the fixture that jumps out at everyone is the first one up against England on 6 February.
“With a number of my Bath team-mates likely to be involved for England it makes it even more special, but I just have to get my head down in the next couple of weeks and keep impressing Vern.”