Paul James ready for a new start at Bath Rugby
Paul James is keen to take on a fresh challenge with Bath after a career spent with Ospreys.
The Welsh prop, capped 38 times internationally, reached the age of 30 in May but he could easily have taken the easy option and spent his entire career as a one-club man.
A hunger to test himself against new opposition, however, persuaded him to join Gary Gold at The Rec.
“I had been with Ospreys for nine years and just felt like I needed a new challenge to develop my game – and there is no better place to do that than the Premiership,” said James, who will help fill the front-row void left by the retirements of Duncan Bell and David Flatman.
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“I’m not that young anymore and my contract was coming to an end, so I had to take the choice to leave now otherwise I would probably have stayed in Wales for my whole career.
“I think that would have been the easier option but I wanted to push myself and challenge myself in a better league.
“If you play any team in the Premiership you know you will have a tough day up front in the pack. There is a tough opponent week in, week out in the front row, so hopefully it makes me a better player.”
With a lot of international experience under his belt, James has been impressed by the thoroughness of Bath’s new coaching set-up.
But with so few of the current squad on the radars of their national sides, James wants to hit the ground running to keep himself in contention for further caps.
“The coaching set-up is looking really good and the best thing about it is that there are a lot of them,” said James.
“There is no hiding place and that’s what you need as players, with coaches giving you feedback all the time. They’ve all got their own area of the game which they look after, so everyone knows their role.
“I still have massive ambitions to play for Wales but that all starts here. If I’m not selected or not playing well for Bath I haven’t got a chance of getting in for Wales.
“If I can use my experience with Wales to help this club move forward then I will do. I’m here to work hard just like everyone else.
“I just need to get my head down over the next couple of months and cement that jersey for myself, which hopefully will give the international selectors something to notice.”