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Key wary of 'fantastic' Bath

Leeds Carnegie director of rugby Andy Key is expecting a big season from Sunday's opponents Bath.

Bath have been tipped to challenge for the Aviva Premiership title and pulled off the transfer coup of the summer when they signed England captain Lewis Moody from Leicester.

"Bath have a fantastic squad and have strengthened that in the close season with a number of key signings," said Key.

"They will be full of confidence coming here but that is a challenge that excites us.

"Steve Meehan has done a great job in his time at the club and restored a winning culture at the Recreation Ground.

"Off the field, they have a new investor and things seem to be moving in the right direction for them too."

Leeds have included five debutants in their starting line-up in prop Miguel Alonso, number eight Daniel Browne, full-back Michael Stephenson, centre Lachlan MacKay and winger Semi Tadulala.

The Yorkshire club escaped relegation last season with Worcester dropping into the Championship instead and Key wants to build on that breakthrough.

"We are all hugely excited about the start of the new season and continuing the progress we made last season," he said. "We have recruited wisely to strengthen our squad with eleven new faces coming in, four of which we see as development players for the future.

"Across Premiership rugby it appears that everyone has had to make adjustments to their squads for the new season and that should produce some exciting rugby this campaign."

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