Amlin Challenge Cup 2014: Abendanon eyes silverware with Bath
Amlin Challenge Cup 2014: Nick Abendanon eyes silverware with Bath ahead of their clash with London Wasps
Nick Abendanon has eyed a haul of silverware before he becomes the latest English player to seek a career in France.
The Bath full-back, 27, has agreed to join Heineken Cup semi-finalists Clermont Auvergne in the summer, but is focused on guiding the West Country club to a pair of finals before he leaves the Rec.
On a personal note, in my last year at the Rec and in the Bath shirt, there would not be a better opportunity to win silverware
Bath face London Wasps at Adams Park in the semi-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup on Sunday and occupy third place in the Aviva Premiership, level on points with Leicester Tigers, and are very much in the hunt to reach the semi-finals.
“That would be the icing on the cake for me,” Abendanon told the Daily Telegraph.
“To get into both finals is something that would be a fantastic achievement for this team, especially a young team coming through and doing so well.
Having joined Bath in 2005, the South Africa-born England international has already tasted European success with the 2008 European Challenge Cup win over Worcester Warriors at Kingsholm, and Abendanon has his eye on a chance to be a part of European finals weekend in Cardiff next month.
“On a personal note, in my last year at the Rec and in the Bath shirt, there would not be a better opportunity to win silverware,” he added.
“It’s a very emotional time. I take as long as I can now to soak in the atmosphere at the Rec. It’s going to be tough to leave this place because it has been my home for 10 years and I have come to love it.”
Clermont face a period of uncertainty with long-time head coach Vern Cotter finally leaving to take up the reins with the Scotland national team while big name winger Sitiveni Sivivatu and full-back Lee Byrne are leaving.
The Top14 side’s ambitions haven’t slipped and has led to world class Wales centre Jonathan Davies agreeing to switch, which should provide a mouth-watering combination with Wesley Fofana, while former All Black winger Zac Guildford will join from Crusaders leaving Abendanon facing competition from Jean-Marcellin Buttin for the 15 jersey.
“It’s going to be a hell of a change going out to Clermont,” he said. “But it’s something that I am looking forward to and it’s going to be a fantastic challenge.”