Anthony Watson: England debut makes Bath coach 'proud'

Anthony Watson
"What sets people like him apart is how hard he works" - Neal Hatley on Anthony Watson

Wing Anthony Watson proved his "world-class ability" on his senior England debut, says Bath coach Neal Hatley.

Watson, 20, scored a stunning second-half try as Stuart Lancaster's side beat Crusaders 38-7 on Tuesday, the first win of their New Zealand tour.

"We're unbelievably proud of all the Bath boys, but particularly Ant," Hatley told BBC Radio Bristol.

"He's one of those people where you watch him play and he could beat you in a phone box. He's got so much ability."

Speaking about Watson's performance on Tuesday, Hatley said: "What was so impressive for me was the way he chased the kicks and how he looked in contact. He got all the little things of his game so spot on.

"He's deadly and has world-class ability."

Watson, who can also play at full-back, came through the London Irish academy, where he first worked under Hatley.

The young back played for England through the age groups and was promoted to the Under-20s side when still only 17.

Prior to his move to Bath last summer, Watson was part of the U20s team that beat Wales to win the IRB Junior World Championship.

His four tries in 21 Premiership games for Bath caught Lancaster's eye last season and, after recovering in time from a hamstring injury, he linked up with the England tour squad earlier this month.

"We've got a few kids like him at the club, and Ant is certainly special," continued Hatley. "What sets people like him apart is how hard he works.

"For someone with unbelievable natural ability, it's sometimes easy to rely on that. But we've got a few guys who are also unbelievable professionals.

"That's what encourages me and makes me believe he will get plenty of caps and will score devastating tries on the international stage."

New Zealand claimed a 28-27 victory in last week's second Test to seal the series win after a narrow 20-15 success in the first game.

The third and final game takes place in Hamilton on Saturday.