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Eastmond focused only on Bath

Kyle Eastmond claims that neither England nor Sam Burgess feature in his current thought process after he helped to inspire Bath's record-breaking 45-0 Aviva Premiership romp against Leicester.

With England's opening autumn Test against world champions New Zealand just seven weeks away and Burgess preparing to arrive at Bath next month from South Sydney Rabbitohs, Eastmond could easily find himself distracted.

But the incumbent England inside centre, who may soon find Burgess challenging him for a club midfield place, says he is concentrated solely on performing in Bath colours.

"It (England) is something I don't think about, to be honest," said former St Helens rugby league star Eastmond, who scored one of five Bath tries as Leicester failed to register a point for only the second time in Premiership history.

"I just go out there and try to do my best for my team. I don't think about anything else but playing well for Bath. That's the key.

"I will always play my best. I don't think about Sam Burgess, I don't think about anyone. I think about playing the best I can for my team-mates, and that's it."

England coaches Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree looked on as Eastmond and Bath shredded the Tigers with ridiculous ease.

With England fly-half hopeful George Ford running the show - his 20-point haul comprised a drop-goal, three penalties and four conversions - Leicester had no answer to Bath's all-singing, all-dancing game and were dismantled in startling fashion.

"It was a great team effort," Eastmond added.

"Leicester are a great side and it is always nice to beat one of the top teams, but we keep our feet on the ground.

"We have got a lot of work to do and there is still a lot of improvement in us, and that's what we will be doing on Monday.

"It is always a different level when you play teams like Leicester. We were so up for the game and we are confident in what we can do."

Bath and Saracens - who meet at the Recreation Ground on Friday week - are the league's only two unbeaten teams just three games into the new domestic campaign, but Bath will now be viewed as major contenders for a possible first Premiership title.

"That (title) is something we don't think about or talk about," Eastmond said.

"It is just game by game, training session by training session. That's the way we work.

"It is up there as a performance, I am not going to take that away.

"We know we can score tries but last week (against London Welsh) I think we let ourselves down in our defence - so that's more pleasing than scoring the 45 points, that we got our defence together.

"We put Leicester under pressure and we played in the right areas. We were by no means perfect ourselves, but I think we played a smart game.

"We always try to control the game, and we are coming up against another great side in Northampton next week. We go into next week with a clean slate, we will start again and work hard."

For their part, Leicester will look to bounce back in a home game against London Irish next Saturday, and while injuries continue to be an issue - centres Manu Tuilagi and Anthony Allen missed the Bath clash with what Tigers boss Richard Cockerill described as niggles - they also face losing French scrum-half David Mele to suspension.

Mele was sent off late in the game by referee Wayne Barnes for stamping on Bath lock Dave Attwood, which compounded Leicester's misery.


From Belfast Telegraph