BATH rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan feels England full-back candidate Nick Abendanon will face plenty of competition for an international shirt as the Six Nations tournament looms.
Fly-half Stephen Donald kicked 15 points, and there was a 20-minute debut off the bench for rugby league recruit Kyle Eastmond, as Bath avoided the ignominy of a fifth successive Premiership loss when they crushed Recreation Ground visitors London Irish 30-3, condemning the Exiles to a heaviest league reversal since May 2006.
However, the form of Abendanon and a powerful Bath scrum proved the most telling factors in the victory.
Abendanon created a brilliant 80-metre counter-attack try for Michael Claassens, a performance in stark contrast to his opposite number Delon Armitage, who had an abysmal disciplinary record in 2011 and began 2012 by collecting a yellow card for a late challenge on Claassens.
McGeechan said: “There are a lot of good players in the Premiership.
“Ben Foden has got the (England full-back) shirt, and Mike Brown is playing well at Harlequins.
“If Nick keeps playing like that he has to have a chance, but they have all got to be in the equation because these fellows can change games.
“If you have that sort of player knocking on the door for an international jersey, your international set-up is in pretty good shape.”
Joe Carlisle kicked two penalties to give Worcester a 6-0 victory at Wasps, and Warriors head coach Richard Hill said: “It’s a big one for us. It means we can start to look upwards, rather than over our shoulder at Newcastle.”