Bath stalwart Nathan Catt reluctantly called time on his career in November 2020. After a month of reflection on the past 12 years in Bath colours, we asked the loosehead prop to pick a dream XV based on the best he has played alongside or faced as an opponent.
1. Alex Corbisiero
Incredibly talented prop who was a really good ball-carrier and a fantastic scrummager. If you got things slightly wrong against him, you were punished.
2. Lee Mears
‘Mearsy’ was a good mentor who did great things in the game. Good player, we followed similar pathways.
3. Matt Stevens
Probably the first modern-day prop who could do everything. Before him props scrummaged and hit hard, but he introduced ball-carrying and offloading to the role.
4. Danny Grewcock
Bath legend and probably the scariest bloke I’ve played with. Ferocious in everything he did, no one ever wanted to go anywhere near him in training!
5. Dave Attwood
Dave’s one of the most physical players I’ve seen and an unbelievable scrummager. Good ball-carrier and big-hitter, I’ve got two first-rate enforcers in my second row.
6. David Pocock
Played against him at U20s level and he was enormous back then – a real man. He jackalled everyone for the next 14 years. Was one of those players who was just miles better than anyone else.
7. Julian Salvi
Played with him at Bath and against him at Leicester and Exeter and he just grafted his way through everything. Face was always a mess, but brilliant at the breakdown.
8. Amanaki Mafi
Only briefly at Bath but in the games he did play he broke our ball-carrying records. So explosive, so powerful and a very impressive specimen. Honourable mention to Leroy Houston – a popular man at Bath.
9. Ben Youngs
Played U20s with him and right from an early age he ran the show. Winning 100-odd caps for England says it all.
10. Alex Goode
Has won everything there is to win at club level and deserved more caps. Never seen a player have so much time on the ball, he’s just so composed.
11. Matt Banahan
Scored 100-plus tries for Bath and there were times when he was unplayable. Could bust tackles, offload and score great tries – had everything in the locker and could play second row if needed.
12. Olly Barkley
Unbelievable skillset and one of the best players I’ve seen. Could ping a ball 50 metres right into your arms without you moving an inch.
13. Manu Tuilagi
Similar to Pocock, I remember thinking ‘you are miles better than the rest’. Fortunately, I didn’t have to tackle him too many times!
14. Semesa Rokoduguni
If Bath were losing, I’d plead for us to get the ball to him as he could always do something special to get us out of trouble. Sensational.
15. Nick Abendanon
Bath’s player of the year three seasons running and European player of the year at Clermont. So durable, so brave with a brilliant skill-set. Deserved way, way more than just two England caps.