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Tale of the tape can help win Semesa Rokoduguni recall 

Semesa RokoduguniFlying Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni is targeting an England recall for the Six Nations despite his club’s recent run of poor form.

Three defeats in four matches have dented Bath’s European and domestic cup hopes, but Rokoduguni has been a standout performer and tops the Premiership charts for defenders beaten (25) and clean breaks (nine).

His 377 metres made is the sixth highest in the division, adding to the reputation of the bulldozing former British Army Lance Corporal who was axed by England after winning his lone cap against New Zealand in 2014.

Rokoduguni, 28, told The Rugby Paper: “There are lots of other boys playing well at the moment but I’ve been pleased with my own season so far and the Bath lads deserve credit for freeing me up in space to make all those metres.

“I’ve worked really hard on my footwork and beating defenders one-on-one in the wide channels, and my aerial work is moving forward as well. I’m able to offload the ball far better under pressure and I feel my game is coming on.

“The only thing I can do now is to keep performing week-in, week-out and do the work.

“Hopefully, the international call will then take care of itself because it would be lovely to get that opportunity of playing for England once again.

“It was disappointing not to get another chance last year but I’ll keep my head down, keep making those metres and try to get noticed.”

Last week’s 36-10 home reverse did nobody at Bath any favours, but Rokoduguni believes a post-match ‘clear the air’ session helped.

He explained: “We got together for our Christmas party and had a good chat. There were no hard words, just encouragement from the skippers.

“That’s helped a lot and the boys turned up at training with renewed determination. We’re forgetting about what’s happened in the past.

“It’s hard to put your finger on what’s gone wrong. Last season we were flying but this season we’ve been misfiring at set-piece and in attack.

“It’s nothing to do with Sam Burgess leaving the club, as some people have suggested, the fact is we just haven’t fronted-up as a team.

“Our backline’s not been clicking and there’s not been enough accuracy, but hopefully we’ll turn things around against Worcester today.”

Bath’s coaches, led by Mike Ford, have come under scrutiny from disgruntled supporters, but Rokoduguni added: “I know what Mike said about the coaches looking at themselves, but all the players are doing that as well.

“The pressure is on but we can use that to our advantage, come out firing against Worcester.”

NEALE HARVEY

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