Heineken Cup Replays NZ V France

You couldn’t make it up.

Just a few weeks after they went head-to-head in the World Cup final in Auckland, fly-halves Stephen Donald and Francois Trinh-Duc could be going at it again this Sunday when Bath play Montpellier in the Heineken Cup.

Our new signing made one hell of an entrance onto the world stage when he came on as a substitute and kicked the points that won the All Blacks their first World Cup in 24 years.

Legend has it that he was on a fishing trip with a mate when Graham Henry rang him and asked if he was free because Dan Carter and Colin Slade had gone down injured.

Only Steve had already deleted The Kiwi top man’s number and simply ignored the call.

It took several attempts to get hold of him before he cancelled his fishing trip, hot-footed it over to the All Blacks camp and won himself a World Cup winners’ medal.

It’s a great story and already, Steve is bringing plenty of know-how with him to the squad since he arrived and began training with us.

The New Zealanders have a good understanding of the game. I remember playing with the likes of Daryl Gibson and Aaron Mauger back in Leicester and they were the same.

When you recruit a Kiwi, you don’t just get their playing ability, you get their knowledge of the game too.

Talking to him this week, it’s interesting to hear how simple the All Blacks’ approach to the World Cup was. They basically empower the players to do the right thing on the pitch and it is always good to get a different perspective on the way to play the game.

We need to beat Montpellier this week after losing in the last second to Glasgow last week.

One amusing thing about a disappointing day at Firhill was seeing Sam Vesty at inside centre wearing Matt Banahan’s No.12 shirt.

Seeing Vesty’s biceps in that shirt was like looking at a sausage in the Dartford Tunnel!


Buy tickets for the showdown between Bath and Montpellier (telephone 0844 448 1865).

Read more from Dan Hipkiss, or his Bath team mate Sam Vesty.

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