Bath intensity pleases second row Danny Grewcock

Danny Grewcock
Grewcock has been with Bath since 2001

Second row Danny Grewcock says Bath's upturn in fortunes has been the result of more intensive training sessions.

Bath, who are fourth in the Premiership, travel to third-placed Gloucester on Saturday.

Grewcock told BBC Radio Bristol: "We have worked hard in training and that's probably the key thing as we have picked up our intensity.

"We have put that extra bit of pressure on ourselves and we have seen the rewards of it."

After an indifferent start to the season Bath have won all five of their Premiership games in 2011 but are 16 points behind leaders Leicester, with two games in hand.

"We always knew that we had the players and the coaches to get the job done but unfortunately there's 11 other good teams in the Premiership other than us.

"It means every game is tough and very competitive and we were on the wrong end of results [earlier in the year]."

Notable among those reverses was the 18-3 home defeat to Gloucester at the start of October, and Bath will be hoping to make amends for that tame performance.

They have won eight of their last nine games, but face west country rivals who are in an even richer vein of form with eight victories on the spin.

"Gloucester are one of the form teams in the Premiership at the moment and it'll be a tough day," he added.

"They're playing incredibly well and Gloucester-Bath games are always that extra bit special.

"I enjoy the atmosphere. It's a passionate crowd, they say their piece and it creates a good atmosphere, for both home and away teams."

But Bath have not benefitted from that boisterous welcome in recent times, losing on their last five trips to Kingsholm.

And Grewcock is yet to win a league match at their old rivals in his 10-season career with Bath, missing out on the victories in November 2003, and most recently, in March 2006.

If he is to make improve that record before bowing out of the game at the end of the season he will have to get the better of his replacement as the enforcer in the Bath pack, 23-year-old England fringe player Dave Attwood.

The Gloucester lock has signed a deal to move to the Rec and came off the bench last time out at Northampton after serving a nine-week suspension for stamping.

Grewcock said: "He's a young, talented player who has been identified as a future Bath talent and we're obviously in need of replacing a second row.

"Anyone that's involved with the England squad at the moment is worthy of a look and it could be an exciting day playing against him."

Bath performance director Sir Ian McGeechan described the potential match-up, with Attwood out to make an impression, as "very interesting".

But it is a sideshow to the main event as each team battles for crucial Premiership points in the race for a top-four finish and a play-off place.

"We've thankfully started to creep up the table with some good results and this is a key one," said Grewcock. "Four points for either team would make a big difference."

Former England international and BBC commentator Alastair Hignell will be previewing the derby on BBC Points West on Friday, 4 March on BBC One at 1830 GMT