Gloucester winger Matt Banahan looking for revenge as he heads to The Rec to face old club Bath

MATT BANAHAN will return to Bath looking to light-up the west country derby.

Giant winger Banahan swapped the black and white hoops for cherry and white this summer.


And as Gloucester snake down the M5 on Saturday, Gloucester boss Johan Ackermann knows the 6ft 7ins star will be fired up to face the club he made more than 250 appearances for.

South African Ackermann said: "I wont lie, I think he will be the one guy that has mixed feelings, but also wants to do well.

"That is natural. But also he will understand that his decision making still needs to serve the team and not himself.

"The team also can't try and make it about him. If we get that balance right, and I do believe we will, it will be a great occasion.


"The first game you are a bit more fired up, but second, third, fourth you just treat it as another game."

Banahan was at Bath for 12 years after joining from London Irish.

But a contract stand-off allowed Gloucester to come in and snap him up.

And Ackermann knows just how he will be feeling having played in some of South Africa's biggest Super Rugby derbies against his old club during his playing days.


The Springbok added: "I was fortunate to play for the Bulls, then play against them.

"I left the Lions and played against the Sharks – it is natural for a player that when you go back to your old hunting ground that you want to do well.

"I remember my first games against my ex teams – you build up a reputation of respect.

"It will be great for him to be back and the supporters will still respect him and it is nice to go back and see things from the outside and experience your old club from the outside.

"Inside, in his belly and in his heart he will be hoping to have a great game."

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MATT BANAHAN will return to Bath looking to light-up the west country derby.